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Germany and Spain march on

Last season's finalists, Germany and Spain, have both ensured their place in June's UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship finals with one round of games still remaining.

Belgium's Laura Deneve (centre) and Amanda Sampedro of Spain (left) vie for possession
Belgium's Laura Deneve (centre) and Amanda Sampedro of Spain (left) vie for possession ©RFEF

A 4-0 triumph for Germany over Norway and a 2-0 win for Spain against Belgium were enough for both of last season's finalists to book their place in June's UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship finals.

Germany beat Austria 1-0 on Saturday and it took Silvana Chojnowski just ten minutes to open the scoring for the holders against Norway. Maria Thorisdottir put through an own goal just past the half hour and Lena Petermann added further gloss either side of half-time.

Ralf Peter, who has led Germany to victory in both previous editions of the competition, said: "This was much better from us. We had a lot of chances." Norway coach Lena Tyriberget added: "Germany were the better team and deserved to win."

Germany could only then be denied a place in the semi-finals in Nyon on 22 June if Finland defeated Austria, but it was the section hosts who emerged as deserved 1-0 victors thanks to Sarah Zadrazil finishing off a fine counterattack on 47 minutes. Germany play Finland and Austria face Norway in Thursday's final round of fixtures.

In Group 2, Spain also progressed, albeit in less emphatic fashion. Last season's runners-up beat Denmark 5-1 in Saturday's opening fixture but only edged past Belgium courtesy of two goals in second-half added time. Sara Tazo and Marina García inflicted the late damage. "It was a hard match," said coach Jorge Vilda. "We are really happy to reach the final stage, where we will meet the best teams. We will go there really motivated."

Denmark, meanwhile, bounced back impressively on Monday with a 2-0 triumph over Switzerland. Ranva Marie Jensen opened the scoring on 28 minutes and Karoline Smidt Neilsen added a second three minutes later.

The winners of Spain's pool will discover their semi-final opponents on Tuesday when Group 1 concludes in Italy; England must beat the Netherlands to overturn their opponents' two-point advantage.

Group 3 also continues on Tuesday after Monday's scheduled matches were postponed due to the death of Poland's president Lech Kaczyński and Polish government officials in an air crash in Smolensk, Russia, on Saturday.