Leading contenders waste no time

England and Scotland were among the 16 teams to reach the second qualifying round on Thursday, as holders Russia set a new scoring record.

Sixteen teams reached the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship second qualifying round on Thursday, with British rivals England and Scotland both progressing from Group 4 and holders Russia setting a new scoring record. The top two from each section progress along with the five third-place sides with the best record against the qualifiers in their group, plus seeds France, Germany and Spain.

England lead way
England and Scotland, who both qualified for the 2004/05 finals and meet on Saturday in Burton, each gained second consecutive wins to book their participation next spring. Having opened with an 11-0 victory against the Faroe Islands, England defeated Croatia 3-0 with goals from Jill Scott, Fern Whelan and Lianne Sanderson. Scotland, who overcame Croatia by the same score, scored five without reply against the Faroes.

Russia record
Russia's 21-0 victory against Georgia was the highest winning margin in any UEFA football competition. Victoria Afanasova and Elena Terekhova each completed hat-tricks, with the leading scorer in the 2005 finals, Elena Danilova, claiming two. The record-breaking 21st goal was an 87th-minute Ksenia Tsybutovich penalty. Also through in Group 6 in Sarajevo are Iceland, who defeated Bosnia-Herzegovina 5-0, Greta Mjoll Samuelsdottir claiming a treble.

Hungary happy
Another of last season's finalists, Hungary, have made progress. A 5-1 win on home soil in Group 1 against Bulgaria kept them on maximum points, along with Belgium, 4-0 victors in their game with Greece.

Kristiansen scores six
Three Scandinavian sides are similarly guaranteed qualification for the next round. In Group 3, hosts Denmark and Sweden are through ahead of their Saturday fixture. Denmark saw off Kazakhstan 10-0 with Louise Kristiansen scoring six goals to take her tournament tally to nine and Henriette Dahl also registering a hat-trick. Sweden defeated Northern Ireland 4-0. Norway emulated their neighbours with a 9-0 win against Estonia in Tallinn. Sharing their celebrations in Group 10 are the Republic of Ireland thanks to a 4-0 scoreline versus Latvia.

De Vos feat
In two other pools both automatic qualification places are confirmed. In Group 5, hosts Poland and the Czech Republic gained 3-0 victories against Slovenia and Azerbaijan respectively to go through, while in Group 8, Priscillia De Vos's second hat-trick of the mini-tournament gave the Netherlands a 5-1 triumph against Romania. Serbia and Montenegro overcame home side F.Y.R. Macedonia 3-0.

Italy relief
There are two groups where matters are still to be resolved. Italy know they will progress from Group 2 at least as one of the five best third-place teams after their 3-0 win against Austria added to a 15-0 triumph versus Armenia. But as hosts Israel, who lost to Austria on Matchday 1, defeated Armenia 10-0, they can still claim a top-two place with a draw against Italy on Saturday, and the Austrians, in second, need only a point against Armenia.

Welsh win
Wales are the only team through from Group 7 thanks to a 2-1 victory against the other team to win on Matchday 1, pool hosts Portugal. In the other Slovakia, who lost to Portugal on Tuesday, overcame Kazakhstan 2-0. A point for Portugal against Kazakhstan on Saturday would be enough, with a similar equation for Slovakia versus Wales.

Decisive fixtures
Whoever emerges as the fifth best third-place team after Saturday's games, they will face a wait to see if they will go through as Group 9 in Belarus (also featuring Ukraine, Moldova and 2005 semi-finalists Finland) runs from 6-10 October. When the second qualifying round lineup is known, seven groups of four will be formed with the top teams progressing to the finals, where they will face hosts Switzerland.