The Young Lionesses face an anxious wait to see if they have qualified for the Euros.
15-year-old Leyton Orient Girls Centre of Excellence forward Danielle Carter has captained the England Women's U17 side to the brink of the second qualifying stage for the UEFA U17 Women’s European Championships in Switzerland next year.
Held in Estonia, the young Lionesses despatched unknown quantity Greece 4-0 and hosts Estonia 3-0 before succumbing to a disappointing, if not entirely unexpected, defeat to traditional powerhouse Norway last Wednesday in their crunch final group match.
However, England displayed enough to show that they are a force to be reckoned with and now face an anxious wait to see if they have qualified as one of the six best runners-up in the ten groups that featured 40 entrants in the first qualifying round.
Once the first round is completed on 28 October, the six runners-up with the best record against the teams first and third in their groups will progress to the draw on 19 November and with England currently first of the three runners-ups so far known they look well-placed to progress.
England, managed by Lois Fidler, opened their campaign with a 4-0 win against Greece as Carter, who played the full 80 minutes, continued her rich vein of scoring for her country following her strikes at the same tournament last year, with an early second half strike direct from a free-kick in the morning kick-off at the Kuusalu Stadium.
With Norway putting seven past Estonia without reply in their opener, England knew nothing less than a comprehensive victory against Estonia in their second match would do and with Danielle receiving the honour of wearing the captain’s armband she led from the front in the 3-0 victory - a goal in the final minute making it a day to remember for the young east-Londoner.
Due to an inferior goal difference, nothing less than a win would do for England going into their final, deciding group match against Norway and two early second half goals from the Norwegians put paid to automatic qualification for the young England side in Kuusalu, despite a Paige Eli consolation five minutes from time.
The match against the Scandinavians was always going to be difficult for England who had breezed through their opening two group matches but the young team will be hoping to emulate their fourth place finish in the same competition last year.
This finish gained automatic qualification for the forthcoming inaugural U17 World Cup in New Zealand, where England open their Group D campaign against Brazil in Wellington on Tuesday 30 October, before facing Nigeria (2 November) and then Korea Republic (5 November) in Auckland.