Relief for Marley and Meinert

The coaches of England and Germany were glad to have secured their last-four places following testing encounters against Italy and Scotland, whose trainers were united by pride.

Germany coach Maren Meinert (right) and England's Mo Marley were both relieved
Germany coach Maren Meinert (right) and England's Mo Marley were both relieved ©Sportsfile

Mo Marley and Maren Meinert spoke of their relief after England and Germany qualified for the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship semi-finals with a game to spare. England, according to Marley, were "poor in the first half" against an Italy team on course for three Group A points until the holders struck twice in the last three minutes. Germany, meanwhile, were pushed all the way by a determined Scotland side before a late flurry of goals gave the score a some what unfair reflection, with Meinert conceding, "we could easily have drawn".

Mo Marley, England manager
We were poor in the first half: we looked tired, sluggish, with a negative perspective. Italy were sharp, bright, well-organised and by far the better team in the first half. We recognised that at half-time, pointed out how out of character it was and how if we continued playing like that we'd soon be going home. It was a great response and we dominated the second half. [The comeback] was always coming – we'd missed a couple of chances – though if I was the other manager I'd be absolutely gutted.

Corrado Corradini, Italy coach
It was a great game and we can go out of the tournament with our heads held high. In Italy the level of women's football is quite low so when we gather as a national team it takes a few games to get up to speed. On Monday we were poor against Germany, we made some big mistakes, but today we showed we can be much better. We would like to bow out with a victory but we must start preparing players for next season so we'll give our youngsters a game against Scotland.

Maren Meinert, Germany coach
It feels great to be through. Last year we all know we didn't make it to the semi-finals so it was important we didn't let that happen again. It was a tough game; it's not easy playing Scottish teams. We could easily have drawn today but we won 5-1 and that's the best way to qualify. We had some chances and if we'd scored an early goal it would have been much easier. Time was running out [in the first half] but we didn't panic and start to play long balls.

Shelley Kerr, Scotland coach
The girls did really fantastic but when you lose your goalkeeper [Gemma Clark] and centre-back [Eilish McSorley], key players, maybe the scoreline is a bit flattering. We couldn't freshen things up because we'd used all our substitutions. We are really disappointed in terms of the score because it certainly wasn't that scoreline. There wasn't that much in the game so we'll very much focus on the positives. Maybe we haven't got that experience like Germany and England have but that'll come – you need experience in these competitions.