Germany too strong for Group B rivals Norway

Germany 3-1 Norway
Isabella Schmid, Lena Lotzen and Anja Hegenauer scored as the three-time champions opened with a win in Cervia.

Germany's Isabella Schmid is congratulated by Luisa Wensing (No5)
Germany's Isabella Schmid is congratulated by Luisa Wensing (No5) ©Getty Images

Germany got their 2011 UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship finals campaign off to a winning start against Norway.

Although Melissa Bjånesøy cancelled out a spectacular long-range opening goal by Isabella Schmid, Germany regained the lead on the stroke of half-time with another strike from distance by Lena Lotzen. On as a substitute, Anja Hegenauer sealed the result in added time.

Buoyed on by considerable support, Norway battled gamely throughout the Group B encounter but Germany lived up to their billing as favourites, enjoying the majority of possession and spreading the play neatly from one side of the pitch to the other. Barely three minutes had passed when Germany captain Ramona Petzelberger glanced Nicole Rolser's cross wide, after a searching crossfield pass by Schmid.

Maren Meinert's charges were ahead on 26 minutes when Norway cleared a corner to apparent safety only for Schmid to unleash a powerful shot in off the bar, and goalkeeper Ane Fimreite, from 35 metres. Save for hopeful long balls pumped into the area, Norway threatened little, but their first constructive move of the afternoon produced a goal as Caroline Hansen tricked her way past Carolin Simon on the right, drew goalkeeper Lisa Schmitz and squared for Bjånesøy.

Norway thought they had done enough to go in at the break on level terms, especially after surviving Simon's curling free-kick, which whistled past the far post. Yet in added time, Lotzen restored the advantage, pouncing on an error by Anette Tengesdal, cutting in from the left and curling a 25-metre shot over Fimreite.

Jarl Torske's side showed greater purpose after the break, Kristine Hegland dancing past a clutch of defenders only for her cross to elude her team-mates, Maren Knudsen twice firing over from the edge of the area and Bjånesøy's volley being turned away by Schmitz with five minutes remaining. Germany held out, however, and, with seconds remaining, finished with a flourish thanks to Hegenauer's breakaway goal.

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