Pluck of the Irish undoes Norway

Nine of the ten first qualifying round pools concluded at the weekend, with the Republic of Ireland pulling off one of the shocks of the round.

Nine of the ten first qualifying round pools concluded at the weekend, with the Republic of Ireland pulling off one of the shocks of the round by defeating Norway 2-1 to win Group 10 from the Scandinavian side.

Delighted coach
Sara Lawlor (4) and Susan Donovan (30) were on target for the Irish, who held on for 44 minutes following Elise Thorsnes's goal for the Norwegians. Ireland manager Susan Ronan said: "I'm absolutely delighted for the players. Every one of them was excellent. Some of these players have been at underage level for three years now and deserve this victory. We will now look forward to the [19 October] draw in Oslo with much interest."

Seeded teams
Both teams advance to the second qualifying round, where they will be joined by the top two teams from the nine other groups and five best third-place teams. France, Germany and Spain - as the three top seeds - qualified automatically for the second stage.

Tight pool
Belgium defeated Hungary 4-0 to win Group 1, although the hosts of last season's final tournament advance as runners-up. Romania (Group 8) progress as one of the best third-place teams along with Wales. The Welsh finished third in the tightest of the nine pools, Group 7, following Saturday's 2-0 defeat against Slovakia who won the section. Portugal also tallied six points to claim the runners-up spot.

One group to go
Greece (Group 1), Israel (Group 2) and Slovenia (Group 5) all have a chance of progressing as one of the best third-placed sides, although the picture will not become clearer until Group 9 is completed, with hosts Belarus, Finland, Moldova and Ukraine in contention. Elsewhere on Saturday, the Netherlands defeated closest rivals Serbia and Montenegro 2-0 to win Group 8, while England saw off Scotland 3-0 to do likewise in Group 4.

Deadly Danilova
The holders Russia completed an effortless passage from Group 6 (maximum points, 32 goals scored, 1 conceded) as Elena Danilova struck four in a 5-1 victory against runners-up Iceland. The Scandinavian showdown between Sweden and Denmark in Group 3 finished 1-1, meaning the latter side top the section, while the top two in Group 5, Poland and the Czech Republic, also finished level on seven points.

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