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Swashbuckling England book semi-final berth

Portugal 1-6 England
With six different goalscorers, Lois Fidler's side sealed second place in Group B and a semi-final showdown against Spain on Thursday.

Swashbuckling England book semi-final berth
Swashbuckling England book semi-final berth ©UEFA.com

England sailed through to the UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship semi-finals after dispatching Portugal 6-1 to finish second in Group A.

Needing just a point to take their place in the last four, England left nothing to chance, goals from Molie Rouse, Evie Clarke and Atlanta Primus reward for their first-half supremacy. Chloe Kelly and Alice Hassall then registered either side of Carolina Ferreira's stunning strike, before Lucy Porter inflicted the final wound on a bedraggled Portugal.

The hosts were quick to find their feet in Burton having started tentatively against Austria on Friday, Primus warming the palms of Catarina Barradas from 25 metres after combining with Jemma Purfield. The threat down England's left remained menacing and ominous for Portugal, whose failure to stem the supply proved costly. Arriving first ahead of a queue of players, Rouse scrambled in at the second attempt from Purfield's delicious cross.

Composed and diligent in possession, Lois Fidler's side continued to dictate the pace, but when Kelly bore down on goal after taking receipt of Clarke's through ball, Barradas produced a smart save. Clarke made no mistake from close range soon after, slotting in from Hassall's cut-back, before Primus headed in at the back post. It was Susana Cova's side who finished the opening half with a flourish, though, Ferreira finding the top corner with a sublime 25-metre effort. 

From optimism to despondency, the team in maroon fell further behind six minutes after the interval as Kelly snaffled the rebound after Barradas had parried Clarke's drive. Worse was to come for the Portugal goalkeeper when she was sent off for tripping Kelly inside the area, with Hassall keeping her composure from the spot. Porter rounded off the scoring with a towering header eight minutes later as England set up a semi-final meeting with Spain on Thursday.