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Shocks abound as finals lineup is completed

Serbia, Portugal, England, Sweden and Spain all wrapped up their groups to join Romania, best runners-up Denmark and hosts Turkey in July's finals, but Germany suffered shock elimination.

Portugal celebrate after beating Belgium 2-1 to qualify for the finals
Portugal celebrate after beating Belgium 2-1 to qualify for the finals ©FPF/Francisco Paraíso

Four teams will make their finals debut at the 2012 UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship after Portugal and Serbia booked places alongside already-qualified Romania and hosts Turkey. Sweden, England and Spain also sealed top spot in their second qualifying round groups, and Denmark secured the best runners-up berth. Yet holders Germany miss out for the first time in the competition's 11-year history, one of several high-profile casualties.

The seven qualifiers will join hosts Turkey in the finals from 2 to 14 July, with the final tournament draw taking place on 24 April at the Hotel Topkapi Palace in Antalya, made by Sheila Begbie, third vice-chairwoman of the UEFA Women’s Football Committee, Mikael Salzer, UEFA head of women’s and futsal competitions, and Abdullah Avcı, Turkey senior men's coach and tournament ambassador.

Group 1 (qualifier: Portugal)
Last season's runners-up Norway thought they had snatched a last-minute ticket to Turkey when, in the second minute of added time, Andrea Thun struck to earn a 3-2 win against the Czech Republic. Yet the section's other game also ended in drama as Portugal's Mónica Mendes headed in an 89th-minute winner versus Belgium, sending the mini-tournament hosts through by virtue of a superior head-to-head record against Norway.

Group 2 (Sweden)
It also went down to the wire in Vasteras, where Germany needed victory against Sweden. The holders had already hit the post when they fell behind to Elin Rubensson's composed strike (36), and rattled the crossbar after the interval but Sweden held on. "If you are Germany you should always qualify for the European Championship; it is a disappointment," said Germany coach Maren Meinert. Northern Ireland beat Poland 3-0 in the other fixture.

Group 3 (Romania)
Romania had already sealed progress and rounded off qualifying with another impressive performance, drawing 1-1 with the Netherlands. But for Sabine Becx's 89th-minute strike it would have been victory, though the damage had been done to the Oranje's aspirations of securing the best runners-up spot. They finish third behind 2010 champions France, who beat Iceland thanks to an early Marion Leroy goal.

Group 4 (Serbia, Denmark)
Nevena Damjanović was again the inspiration for Serbia, scoring the only goal against Switzerland as Milan Rastavac's side made it three wins from three. Denmark finished second, Camilla Andersen's tenth goal in qualifying completing a 2-0 success against point-less Republic of Ireland, and they edged through as the runners-up with the best record against the teams first and third in their section.

Group 5 (Spain)
Spain wrapped up the section with a victory over Scotland that was never really in doubt from the moment Marina García (28) broke the deadlock. Shelley Kerr's side fought all the way, pulling it back to 2-1 and then, in added time, 3-2. There was also only one goal in it between Russia and Italy, Azzurrine skipper Lisa Alborghetti scoring from the spot nine minutes from time.

Group 6 (England)
Danielle Carter's first-half strike earned England a hard-fought triumph over Austria as the 2009 champions sealed a return to the finals having missed out last season. It means Wales, who will host the 2013 event, finish second despite a predatory 90th-minute winner from Finland's Ella-Rosa Huusko condemning them to a 2-1 defeat.

Final standings