Perfect Denmark top Group 5
Thursday, 4 October 2012
"We were the best team at the tournament," Denmark coach Andres With Damgaard told UEFA.com after last season's bronze-medallists won Group 5 with a perfect record.
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Denmark finished third in the 2011/12 UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship and made smooth progress to the second qualifying round of the new season's competition after winning Group 5 in Strumica.
They made a comfortable start, defeating mini-tournament hosts the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 4-0 and Serbia 6-0 in their first two outings. Denmark still needed a point against Scotland to be sure of a place in the draw on 20 November and a 2-0 win meant they topped the section without conceding a goal.
Indeed, goalkeeper Naja Bahrenscheer only had to make two saves in the whole group. "We were the best team at the tournament," Denmark coach Andres With Damgaard told UEFA.com. "In the match against Serbia on Monday we gave 110% and we continued in the same style today. We knew that Scotland were going to be tough opponents, yet we played really well and I think we truly deserved the win. We scored 12 goals at this mini-tournament and conceded none, so obviously I am satisfied."
Anders With Damgaard's side only needed four minutes to break through against FYROM with Rikke Dybdahl on target, and the same player scored again on the hour before Sara Thrige Andersen and Sarah Hansen made sure of victory. Also on matchday one, Serbia were twice behind in the first half against Scotland but twice came back before Tijana Matić sealed a 3-2 win two minutes into the second period.
Serbia had no answer to Denmark two days later, however, Hansen and Marie Maj Madsen both striking twice and Mathilde Jessen and Dybdahl coming off the bench to register. Scotland kept the group alive with a 7-0 defeat of FYROM in which Zoe Ness managed a hat-trick.
Scotland's hopes of finishing first rested on their final game with Denmark, with victory essential, but Hansen and Jessen scored during the first half to make sure the Danes eased through. Serbia took second spot as Tijana Djordjević and Nevena Milivojević supplemented Dina Blagojević's double in a 4-0 win against FYROM. However, Serbia are unable to finish as one of the four best runners-up.
“I am really pleased with our performances at this tournament and with the fact that we are runners-up," Serbia coach Goran Sretenović said. "I am especially pleased that we managed to beat Scotland, a team that are ranked higher than us. In the match against Denmark, we failed physically, because previously we had played an exhausting match against Scotland."