England have been given a tough draw in the second qualifying round of the UEFA
England have been given a tough draw in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Women's Under-19 Championship. England will have to compete with Denmark, Spain and Republic of Ireland for a single qualifying spot from Group A1 to progress to the Championship Finals in July 2003.
The draw, which took place in Nyon, Switzerland, today, saw 16 nations divided into four groups of four, with the group winners and best three runners-up advancing to the finals between 25 July and 3 August next year. The tournament will be hosted by the current champions Germany, who beat England in the semi-final of the 2001-02 European Finals.
With Germany out of the equation, the attention at today's draw focused on the three other European nations to feature in the summer's FIFA Women's U19 World Championship in Canada - France, England and Denmark.
England have a tough draw in Denmark, to whom they lost to both in the qualifying stage and at the European Championship Finals in May of this year. Each game was lost by a single goal, 4-3 in Denmark and then 2-1 in Sweden at the Finals.
Group A2 also poses a difficult challenge with three of the teams competing in the last season's European Championship Finals going head-to-head. France, Sweden and Switzerland will all be hoping to grab the winner's automatic qualifying spot.
The Second Qualifying Round will take place between 15th and 19th April 2003, at venues yet to be decided. The group winners will be seeded in the draw for the final round.