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Germany kick off race to reach Nyon

Three-time winners Germany are among the sides kicking off the second qualifying round in Belgium, with four teams eventually to make June's final tournament in Nyon.

Germany want to make it four wins in six years
Germany want to make it four wins in six years ©Getty Images

The road to the last four-team UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship begins on Thursday with the opening second qualifying round group in Belgium.

Comprising the winners of the mini-tournaments to be staged in Belgium, Austria, France and the Czech Republic between this week and 14 April, the knockout event from 25 to 28 June will be the sixth and last time the championship will end with a four-team finals at Colovray Stadium in Nyon, Switzerland. The showpiece is then expanding to an eight-sided event, held in 2013/14 in England.

Holders Germany, who have qualified for all five previous final tournaments and won three of them, are among the teams in Belgium along with past qualifiers Denmark and the Netherlands. Two further groups start later this month, with the pick of the ties in Group 3 where last season's runners-up France welcome two-time champions Spain. The first qualifying round was played in the autumn.

The draw is already made for the championship semi-finals on 25 June. Should Germany make it to Nyon, they could be rematched with the nation who were the first to knock them out – in the semi-finals in 2010 – the Republic of Ireland.

Second qualifying round draw
Group 1 (7–12 March):
 Netherlands, Denmark, Germany (holders), Belgium*

Group 2 (26–31 March): Norway, Republic of Ireland, Austria*, Poland

Group 3 (24–29 March): France*, Spain, Northern Ireland, Finland

Group 4 (9–14 April): Switzerland, Czech Republic*, Sweden, Italy


Finals schedule (Nyon)
Semi-finals: 25 June
1: Winner Group 1 v Winner Group 2
2: Winner Group 3 v Winner Group 4

Third-place play-off: 28 June
Loser semi-final 1 v Loser semi-final 2

Final: 28 June
Winner semi-final 1 v Winner semi-final 2