WU19 EURO Group A preview
Thursday, 14 July 2016
Slovakia hope to show "what they're capable of" as they face former winners France and the Netherlands plus three-time finalists Norway, all of them unbeaten in qualifying.
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19 July: Slovakia v Netherlands (17:00, Senec), France v Norway (18:00, Zlate Moravce)
22 July: Netherlands v Norway (18:00, Zlate Moravce), Slovakia v France (19:00, Senec)
25 July: Netherlands v France (17:00, Senec), Norway v Slovakia (17:00, Zlate Moravce)
- Slovakia (hosts)
Best performance: first final tournament
Preparation mini-tournament (Senec, September): Spain 1-3, England 1-1
Scorers: Mária Mikolajová (v Spain), Viktória Čeriová (v England)
Branislav Petrović, coach: "We are not considered favourites, let's be honest. But there is no logic behind football. There is always a chance of advancing and I believe we will do our best to reach the semi-finals. The final tournament in Slovakia is a big milestone in the history of our football and I hope it will open up further opportunities for our girls into the big world of women's football, and at the same time Slovakian women's football as whole will benefit from organising such an event. Every player dreamed of playing in this competition. Now it's the chance to show what they are capable of."
Best performance: winners 2014
Qualifying round: Cyprus 9-0, Moldova 12-0, Italy 1-1 (Group 7 winners)
Elite round: Czech Republic 7-2, Belarus 3-0, Finland 1-1 (Group 3 winners)
Top scorers: Sippie Folkertsma 9
Janna Torny, coach: "I am happy to be part of Group A with host nation Slovakia, but at the same time it is a strong group with France and Norway. If you want to lift the trophy you must beat every country. We have a strong team, we will focus on analysis of every opponent we play and we will see."
Best performance: winners 2003, 2010, 2013
Qualifying round: Bosnia and Herzegovina 2-0, Faroe Islands 7-0, Czech Republic 6-0 (Group 2 winners)
Elite round: Portugal 3-0, Greece 6-0, Scotland 2-0 (Group 5 winners)
Top scorers: Clara Mateo 4
Eyquem Gilles, coach: "It's a very open group indeed. All the teams are very interesting to watch. There's a good mix of qualities, with teams we don't know very well. We know Norway as we played them before at the La Manga tournament. We have never seen Slovakia play, but because they play the opening match with the Netherlands it's a good opportunity to see them. We have only one dream, one ambition – to reach the final and take the title, repeating the success from 2013. It will be a tough start against Norway in the opening game."
Best performance: runners-up 2001, 2003, 2008, 2011
Qualifying round: Estonia 6-0, Israel 7-0, Portugal 2-2 (Group 8 winners)
Elite round: Switzerland 2-2, Russia 1-0, Hungary 1-0 (Group 6 runners-up)
Top scorers: Ingrid Kvernvolden, Vilde Fjelldal 4
Nils Lexerød, coach: "We're aiming for the semi-finals. We have a strong squad, and although the group is tough, we're aiming for the top four. I hope we can achieve it. I think we have an experienced team. We have players who played last year's finals in Israel. We played France, the United States and England earlier this year and we've come through a difficult elite round group, so I think we're an experienced side."