Mo Marley believes her Young Lions are reaching their potential.
England 3-0 Switzerland
UEFA European Women's U19 Championship
Wednesday 22 July
Gorodskoi, Molodechno, Belarus
England Women’s U19s beat Switzerland 3-0 to book their place in the UEFA European Championship Final, in a display that Head Coach Mo Marley described as a “performance that matched their ability”.
Marley’s Young Lions faced a resilient Swiss side that had posted emphatic victories over Germany and host nation Belarus in the group stages. But England proved just too strong in the semi-final clash.
“We knew the Swiss were a very strong team,” said Marley after the game. “We spent the last couple of days making sure we were organised – we knew they had a lot of threat going forward.
“We recognised we had to defend exceptionally well if we were going to get anything out of the game. As a team, collectively, we defended fantastically. You've got to give credit to the two centre-halves; they had a specific job to do and rose to the challenge, they were outstanding. So were the team as a whole. When you defend well it gives you the licence to get forward.”
With freedom to attack, forward Toni Duggan opened the scoring on 28 minutes. She then went on to score England’s third after Isobel Christiansen had doubled the lead.
For Marley, however, such a composed and mature performance was by no means a given.
“Three months ago I was thinking this team is quite naïve, it's got energy, ability and a passionate desire to play the game in the right way but…They were quite inexperienced but we've spent a lot of time off the pitch trying to help them mature, to understand the game and take that on to the field and I think that's been the difference over the past couple of months.
England now face Sweden in the Final on Saturday 25 July and Marley hopes that the progress and development her team has shown will prove enough to lift the trophy.
“They've got better and better and better. Today their performance matched their ability – in the past it's always been just about potential.
"From a coach's perspective it's been a dream to date. We've got the fine details right and that's the difference between success and failure.”
The Final will be broadcast live on Eurosport.
1 Rebecca Spencer, 2 Chelsea Weston, 3 Gilly Flaherty, 4 Remi Allen, 5 Lucia Bronze, 6 Kerys Harrop, 7 Isobel Christiansen, 8 Jordan Nobbs, 9 Toni Duggan (16 Jessica Holbrook, 88), 10 Michelle Hinnigan (12 Abbie Prosser, 83), 11 Jade Moore (14 Laura Coombs, 66)
Substitutes not used
13 Ashley Baker, 15 Gemma Bonner, 17 Demi Stokes, 18 Lauren Bruton
Duggan 28, 55, Christiansen 45
12 Pascale Küffer, 3 Sarah Steinmann, 4 Muriel Bouakaz (11 Bettina Baer, 81), 5 Danique Stein, 6 Selina Kuster, 8 Chantal Fimian, 9 Ana Maria Crnogorcevic, 10 Samira Susuri (7 Lara Keller, 70), 15 Lia Wälti, 17 Jehona Mehmeti (16 Désirée Stäbler, 58), 19 Ramona Bachmann
Substitutes not used
1 Nathalie Schwery, 13 Rahel Kiwic, 14 Annina Spahr, 18 Vanessa Pittet