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Germany seal finals spot by beating Belgium

Three-time winners Germany edged Belgium 1-0 on the last day to top elite round Group 6 and take their place at next month's UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship.

Germany celebrate scoring in their 6-0 defeat of Switzerland
Germany celebrate scoring in their 6-0 defeat of Switzerland ©Getty Images

Three-time winners Germany ensured a smooth passage to next month's UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship after topping their elite round section. 

Anouschka Bernhard's team led closest pursuers Belgium by virtue of a superior goal difference going into their Group 6 decider in Grossbardorf on Wednesday. In a game of few chances, Saskia Meier fired over either side of the interval before Kim Fellhauer's cushioned header found captain Jasmin Sehan, who finished emphatically. Germany then held their nerve to join hosts England, plus already qualified Austria, Scotland and Spain in the 24 October draw.

Germany failed to qualify for the competition's last-ever four-team final tournament in Nyon in June having claimed three titles and two bronze medals in their previous five appearances. Given a bye to the elite round, they began spectacularly in Schweinfurt on Friday by dispatching Switzerland 6-0, Ricarda Walkling weighing in with a hat-trick – the first a 17th-minute penalty following Jana Schneider's red card.

Meanwhile, Lysanne van der Wal's 23rd-minute own goal steered Belgium to a 1-0 defeat of the Netherlands, who held Germany 0-0 in Bamberg two days later. Elsewhere on Sunday, Switzerland salvaged a 1-1 draw with Belgium courtesy of Clara Lucchini's late equaliser. The Netherlands signed off with a 3-1 comeback win against the bottom-placed Swiss to come third behind Belgium.