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Victorious France seal semi-final spot

Published: Sunday 30 May 2010, 18.47CET
France 6-1 FYROM
Les Bleuettes will face Germany in the semi-finals on Wednesday after sealing second spot in Group B against the valiant hosts.
by Chris Burke
from Milano Arena
Victorious France seal semi-final spot
France earned their second Group B win against the hosts in Kumanovo ©sportsfile
Published: Sunday 30 May 2010, 18.47CET

Victorious France seal semi-final spot

France 6-1 FYROM
Les Bleuettes will face Germany in the semi-finals on Wednesday after sealing second spot in Group B against the valiant hosts.

France will face Germany in the 2010 UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship semi-finals on Wednesday after a 6-1 triumph against the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia gave them second spot in Group B.

The Netherlands' 2-0 win against Spain meant Jean-Michel Degrange's charges needed only draw to advance, but they quickly gave themselves a commanding platform with three goals in three minutes from Marina Makanza, Camille Catala and Amélie Barbetta. Makanza then scored her second, before a stunning effort from Natasa Andonova roused the locals ahead of further strikes from substitute Léa Le Garrec and Barbetta.

Not leaving anything to chance, France threatened several times early on, with Barbetta notably blasting against the crossbar. Natasa Andonova showed some glimpses of class in midfield as the hosts attempted to break the stranglehold, but they could only resist so long and with 12 minutes gone Makanza tapped in after Gadéa's shot had been parried by Cvetanka Petrova.

Les Bleuettes were celebrating again moments later as Catala enjoyed a simple finish from Mélissa Godart's ball across goal. The flurry then continued with Barbetta firing in off a post, but the hosts settled somewhat after Cvetanka Petrova denied Catala twice and Makanza three times. With Natasa Andonova hungry to impress, they even advanced a little and lone striker Ina Miloseska screwed a couple of shots wide.

FYROM were displaying both heart and tenacity, yet they conceded late in the half when Makanza collected Godart's through ball and curled inside the right-hand post. As against Spain, Degrange made three changes at the restart and Le Garrec – the goalscoring hero against their last opponents – marked her arrival with a fierce attempt into the side netting. Fellow newcomer Rose Lavaud then had a pair of shots parried by Cvetanka Petrova, who likewise claimed a Catala header.

The goalkeeper was having a splendid game, stretching also to deny Catala from distance, however the moment the hosts had been waiting for came at the other end as Natasa Andonova dispossessed Adeline Rousseau in the centre circle and lobbed Laetitia Philippe brilliantly from 40 metres out. Le Garrec and Barbetta quelled the revolt, but both teams had reasons to be pleased at the final whistle.

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