Poland beat Belgium to reach first final
Tuesday, 25 June 2013
Belgium 1-3 Poland
Goals from Ewa Pajor, Paulina Dudek and Katarzyna Konat secured Poland's place in Friday's final, the first in their history.
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Poland booked their first UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship final berth thanks to a 3-1 victory against Belgium at Stadium Colovray in Nyon, Switzerland.
Katarzyna Konat gave Poland a 25th-minute lead only for Tine De Caigny to equalise just four minutes later. Zbigniew Witkowski's charges remained undeterred and produced a strong second-half performance to win their maiden semi-final thanks to goals from Paulina Dudek and Ewa Pajor.
Both teams were making their debut at this stage of the tournament and it was Poland who settled best early on with Pajor particularly threatening on the right wing. Pajor, who scored four goals in five appearances in qualifying, had the first chance of the game when she fired a shot just past the angle of post and crossbar after racing into the penalty area.
Poland's dominance began to show and they forged ahead when Anna Rędzia's high free-kick fell kindly for Konat to spin and shoot into the net from close-range. The lead did not last long, though, as Belgium restored parity when Shayna Raekelboom's corner was met by a looping De Caigny header. The sides went in level at the break but just three minutes into the second half Poland regained the advantage.
An accurate diagonal pass found Dudek in space on the edge of the penalty area and, despite seeing her first shot brilliantly saved by Diede Lemey, the midfielder was first to react and convert the rebound. Amber Maximus came close to a second Belgium equaliser on 62 minutes, hitting a powerful drive just over the bar. However, 13 minutes from time Pajor got the goal her performance warranted and sealed victory for Poland by rounding Lemey and calmly sliding the ball into an unguarded net.