England Under-19s kick-off their 2003-04 European Championship campaign this wee
England 0-0 Scotland
Mo Marley's England Under-19 side kicked-off their First Round qualifying campaign with a 0-0 draw against Scotland in Romania on Tuesday.
England were missing two key players from their line-up - midfielder Sheunnen Ta, who wasn't released from her soccer scholarship at the University of Miami, and striker Eniola Aluko, out with a pulled muscle.
England fielded several new players in this game, due to experienced internationals like Fara Williams and Kelly McDougall now being too old for this age group. The game was played in Mogosoaia, about an hour's travel from Bucharest.
England dominated for most of the game and had several chances from close range but weren't clinical enough in their finishing. Striker Jade Malpas, making her England debut, had a good chance ten minutes before the end of the first half, but couldn't get her foot behind the ball properly in the six-yard box.
Goalkeeper Carly Telford had a couple of easy saves, but wasn't really tested in the England goal. Marley's side really piled on the pressure towards the end of the game, having several shots in the last five minutes but they couldn't break the deadlock.
England now face two more matches in an effort to take either the winners or runners-up spot in Group B6, with the top two progressing through to the Second Qualifying Group in April. Despite having reached the semi-finals of the last two Finals, England have to go through two qualifying rounds unlike several of the formerly top U19 teams in Europe who enter at the Second Qualifying stage. England will play Ukraine on Thursday at 3.00pm local time (1.00pm) and hosts Romania on Saturday.
England: Carly Telford, Lea Cobham, Michelle Hickmott, Hayley Kemp, Beth Bailey, Emma Thomas, Anita Asante, Katie Holtham, Jade Malpas (sub 66 mins Karen Carney), Hannah Smith (sub 77 mins mins Karen Boyle), Michelle Evans,