Euro heartache for Young Lionesses
Tuesday, 05 April, 2011
2009 European champions fail to qualify for this season's Finals.
The England Women’s U19 team have bowed out of the European Championship after a narrow defeat to Norway in the final match of their Elite Qualifying Round group.
After 3-0 victories over both Croatia, the hosts, and Portugal, the Young Lions came into the decider knowing a draw would be enough to see them through to the Finals courtesy of a better goal difference over the Norwegians, but Melissa Bjånesøy’s super header after just 12 minutes put paid to English hopes of topping Group 4.
England had a glimmer of hope on the half-an-hour mark when referee Jana Adámková awarded them a penalty but skipper Jordan Nobbs failed to convert the spot-kick. It was a cruel blow for the Arsenal youngster, as it was her wonderful goal against Sweden in the 2009 Euro Final that clinched a first-ever major trophy for an England’s Women’s side.
Head Coach Mo Marley will be bitterly disappointed to have missed out on a Finals place, but her record at this level is quite remarkable. She has led England to at least a runners-up spot in three of the last four European Championships, with her crowning moment coming in the sunshine of Belarus two years ago.