England beat Serbia in Elite Round opener.
England 3-1 Serbia
UEFA European Women’s U17 Championship
Elite Qualifying Round Group 1
2pm BST, Thursday 8 April 2010
Ellera Stadium, Italy
The England Women’s U17 team got their Elite Qualifying Round campaign off to the perfect start with a 3-1 victory over Serbia. The top nation in each group will make it through to the European Finals, which will be staged in Switzerland in June.
Katie Wilkinson opened the scoring after just six minutes and added a second just before the break, though Ana Popov pulled a goal back for Serbia with a 61st-minute free-kick.
England created fewer opportunities after the restart with Serbia pushing for an equaliser, although substitute Freda Ayisi, on for Elizabeth Ince, did try an audacious effort which cannoned off the crossbar. However, Ayisi eventually got her name on the scoresheet late on, when she netted England’s third goal of the game.
Head Coach Lois Fidler told UEFA.com: "I think we deserved to win. We played against a team we had never faced, Serbia, and they played very physically. So, it was difficult for us, but we had the best opportunities and after scored two goals we tried to control the game. Serbia created a lot of pressure, but we played like a very good team."
Italy provide the opposition for England’s second Elite Round match on Saturday. The group’s other game finished Holland 2-0 Italy.England
1 Mary Earps, 2 Lara Fay, 3 Alex Greenwood (15 Leigh-Anne Robe, 80+2), 4 Elizabeth Ince (18 Freda Ayisi, 74), 5 Hannah Short, 6 Kirsty Linnett (C), 7 Katie Wilkinson, 8 Bianca Bragg, 9 Danielle Carter, 10 Nikita Parris, 11 Lucy Gunton-Jones Substitutes not used
13 Tatiana Saunders (GK), 12 Phoebe Richards, 14 Chloe Dale, 16 Jade Bailey, 17 Sherry McCue