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WU19 EURO day one: what we learned

Our reporting team in Israel draw lessons from day one of the WU19 EURO, with early frontrunners, impressive goalscorers, promise in losing causes and injury concern.

Rebecca Knaak (No5) celebrates after scoring Germany's winner
Rebecca Knaak (No5) celebrates after scoring Germany's winner ©Getty Images

France are a threat
A potential tournament-ending injury to Delphine Cascarino could damage the French cause, but they remain a real threat. Les Bleuettes mustered 13 shots on goal to Denmark's two on Wednesday, and both coaches admitted the 1-0 victory margin could have been greater. Marie-Charlotte Léger took her goals tally to six this campaign but France's success is built on the bedrock of a defence yet to concede in four games, qualifying included.

Blackstenius knows her way to goal
"She's a goalscorer," coach Calle Barrling said of Stina Blackstenius on the eve of the tournament, "everyone can see that." Nobody in Lod on Wednesday would disagree with that assessment. The Linköpings FC forward struck twice against Israel, showing a quick turn of pace for the first and quick turn on her heels for the second – both ended with unerring finishes. It took her tally to 16 for this season – one off Elena Danilova's 2005/06 campaign record.

Israel can compete
Two years ago Sweden and Israel met in a friendly: the Scandinavian side completed a decidedly unfriendly 8-0 win. Israel's 2014 qualifying campaign saw defeats by Austria, Croatia and Azerbaijan, with a cumulative score of 18-0. Guy Azouri's side have come a long way fast, a 3-0 loss to Sweden representing a marked improvement. "We don't like losing," said Azouri, "but two years ago we wouldn't have got out of our own box in a match like this."

Finals goals: 2005-2014

Group B could go down to the wire
It is advantage Spain and Germany in Group B, but no one is convinced that it is all done and dusted now. England were dynamic and fluid before being edged out by an 87th-minute Rebecca Knaak goal, and while Norway were overwhelmed 4-0 by Spain, Germany and England know they are better than that. Both have played them in recent months and neither won. "I think all the teams will have a big part to play in how this group goes," warned England's Mo Marley.

Time for Spain to end wait?
Jorge Vilda was appointed U19 coach on the back of his vaunted success with the U17 set-up. He led Spain to back-to-back WU17 EUROs in 2010 and 2011, then runners-up in 2012 and the same again at the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup. A couple of months later he was at the U19 helm as they reached the final before losing to the Netherlands. Could the wait to add to their 2004 title end this year? They certainly laid down a marker on Wednesday.

Matchday two is on Saturday. Tickets cost 10ILS (€2.50) and are available either at the stadiums or via this link. The site is in Hebrew.