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England down Denmark to win Group A

Denmark 0-3 England
England made sure of first place in Group A with a healthy victory in Llanelli against Denmark, who finished third in the section.

Paige Williams (centre) celebrates finding the net for England
Paige Williams (centre) celebrates finding the net for England ©Sportsfile

With both sides hoping to progress to the 2013 UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship semi-finals, England beat Denmark 3-0 with a mature and clinical display – pipping France to top spot in Group A.

Mo Marley's England entered the game a point better off than their opponents and needing just a draw to advance, but went ahead via left-back Paige Williams's penalty after a tightly contested first half-hour. Nikita Parris and Katie Zelem added late strikes to ensure a last-four showdown with Finland on Wednesday.

The wing play of Denmark's Frederikke Thøgersen and an opportunistic shot against the post by England's Parris were the highlights of the opening stages in Llanelli, before England took the lead on 34 minutes. Sarah Hansen brought down Bethany Mead in the area – enabling Williams to step up and do the rest.

Despite being happy to sit on their advantage early in the second period and play primarily on the counterattack, the set-piece threat of Williams – who rattled the bar with another thumping effort on 78 minutes – and the pace of forward Parris meant that England continued to look the more dangerous, even with Søren Randa-Boldt's team dominating possession.

So it proved with five minutes remaining at Parc y Scarlets, when Parris combined with Hannah Blundell before cutting inside and sending a looping shot beyond the reach of Maria Christensen. The victory all but secured, England pressed forward and duly found a third. Christensen denied Jessica Sigsworth from a Williams corner, only for Zelem to poach the goal that won Group A for England on goal difference – thus avoiding a semi-final against in-form Germany.

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