England, Slovakia and Finland have secured berths in the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship second qualifying round after the first stage concluded.
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The eleven group winners and runners-up progressed to join top seeds Germany and the third-placed team with the best record against the leading pair in their section also go through, and will be confirmed shortly.
England beat Scotland 5-2 to clinch first place. Jordan Nobbs, Jessica Holbrook and Michelle Hinnigan – who were all in England's finals squad a year ago – scored in three first-half minutes and although Cheryl McCulloch pulled one back early in the second period, Rebecca Jane increased the lead. Gemma Collier struck for Scotland but Stephanie Marsh had the last word in added time. Second place went to Slovakia as they gained the win they needed against Slovenia, recovering from conceding an early goal to triumph 4-1. Viera Mašlejová equalised and put Slovakia ahead on 55 minutes before Beáta Tureková and Alexandra Bíróová confirmed their success.
Group 1 saw 2008 runners-up Norway secure a 0-0 draw against Portugal and claim top spot. That meant Romania only needed to avoid a heavy defeat by the Faroe Islands to finish second and in fact won 4-1, though Portugal's point today leaves them well positioned to be the best third-placed team. The other berth that was in doubt was Group 6 second place and Finland took that honour with a 1-0 win against the Czech Republic, substitute Sini Ihamäki clinching victory five minutes from time in Baku. Already assured first place, Azerbaijan overcame Northern Ireland 1-0.
In the other eight groups, the top two were already through with only the order in which they qualified up for grabs. On Monday the Republic of Ireland beat Iceland 5-1 to wrap up Group 7 while the other deciders were on Tuesday. Holders Italy overcame Ukraine 5-0 to secure Group 11; Bulgaria beat Estonia 2-0 for third place. Sweden were semi-finalists last season and a 3-0 victory against Wales ensured they finished at the summit of Group 3. Croatia overcame Latvia 1-0 below that pair.
The two remaining 2007/08 finalists also won their groups. Spain did so on goal difference in Group 4 after a 1-1 draw with the Netherlands; behind them Lithuania defeated Cyprus 3-0. Meanwhile, last season's hosts France overcame Belgium 3-0 while Group 9 hosts F.Y.R. Macedonia finished third by beating Georgia 4-3. Denmark twice equalised against Switzerland in Group 10 for a 2-2 draw which left them top on goal difference with Serbia beating Kazakhstan 7-0 to avoid last place. But one past winner had to settle for second place; Russia losing 3-1 to Hungary. Hosts Bosnia-Herzegovina exited on a high with a 10-0 defeat of Moldova.
Austria were the other pool winners, beating Poland 5-1 in Group 2 while third place went to Armenia on goal difference following a 3-3 draw with Turkey. The 24 second qualifying round contenders will be drawn into six group of four on 19 November and will play from 23-28 April 2009, with seven berths on offer to join hosts Belarus in July's finals.