Israel 0-4 France
Les Bleuettes are through to the semi-finals after a comfortable win in front of a strangely bipartisan crowd in Netanya.
Article top media content
• France book place in semi-finals and at 2016 U-20 World Cup
• France and Sweden will play off for top spot in Group A on Tuesday
• Shahar Nakav suspended following red card on the opening day
• Next matches: Denmark v Israel, Sweden v France (Tuesday)
France eased through to the WU19 EURO semi-finals with a game to spare after easing to a 4-0 victory over dogged hosts Israel.
Goals inside the opening 26 minutes from Clara Mateo and Noémie Carage set Les Bleuettes on their way in a match billed the 'Netanya Derby' given the area's large French-speaking population. Juliane Gathrat's fine header made it 3-0 after the hour and Marie-Charlotte Léger, initially rested, came on to wrap things up late on.
Victory assured France of a top-two place in Group A and with it, a spot at next year's FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup. It was never really in doubt from the moment Mateo opened the scoring on ten minutes following a melee and a scuffed goalmouth clearance. Captain Carage doubled the advantage with a fantastic header from a Sakina Karchaoui free-kick.
Standing in for usual first-choice goalkeeper, Fortuna Rubin, Hanna Elizabeth Boshari did well to minimise the damage and impressed under mounting pressure from France's front line. Eventually the pressure told, though, as the best move of the match ended with Juliane Gathrat applying a sublime header to Mateo's cross to make it 3-0.
Léger latched onto a loose ball on the stroke of full time to wrap things up, while a crowd of 2,600 – an Israeli record for this age group – sang until the end. Israel's star forward, Eden Avital, ran relentlessly, and Marian Awad and Keren Goor had chances to pull one back. Israel have one more chance to score at their maiden finals, when they face Denmark on Tuesday.
Guy Azouri, Israel coach: "I am disappointed with the result but it shows the improvement of football in Israel: What those girls have done at the academy over the past two years is amazing. They were used to losing 10-0 and upwards, and now they don't just play, they compete. They fight. They create chances. Fight for 90 minutes, to play tactically, to play with a lot of courage. I just really want them to score now!"
Gilles Eyquem, France coach: "It was a super match. We were up against a side who were well supported; they put a lot of pressure on us and played to a big crowd. I have to pay generous credit to Israel, they were solid, defensively calm and solid, and quite physical. The quality of our players shone though."