The European dream is over for England Women Under-19s after they fell to France
England 0-2 France
UEFA Women's Under-19 Championship
Am Stadtbad, Markranstädt
Friday 1st August 2003
The European dream is over for England Women Under-19s after they fell to France 2-0 in Friday's semi-final. It was the second successive year that England have been defeated at the semi-final stage...
England were looking to get back to winning ways after a defeat against Germany in their last group match, where coach Mo Marley had fielded several inexperienced players after having already qualified for the semis.
Marley chose her strongest side though for the tough test against France and they started off brightly. Midfielder Kelly McDougall had a long-range shot which hit the crossbar in the 11th minute, but it was France who took the lead a minute later.
Cécilia Josserand sent a low shot past California-based goalkeeper Karen Bardsley which went in off the post.
England went all out for the equaliser from the restart and captain Fara Williams had a goalbound shot well saved by the French 'keeper Sarah Bouhaddi. But France got back into the game towards the end of the first half with some attacking play.
The second half saw wave after wave of England attack and both Williams and striker Eniola Aluko missed good chances. France were forced to defend deeply in numbers with Aluko again and Arsenal's Anita Asante also testing their goal.
But it was to be France's day and they sealed their victory when Nonna Debonne netted their second goal from close range on 89 minutes.
Goals: Josserand 12, Debonne 89
Under 19s Results