England Women's U17s draw with Spain in Euro opener

Monday 22 Jun 2015
England Women's U17s drew 1-1 with Spain in their Euro opener

England Women’s Under-17s began their European Championship finals campaign with a 1-1 draw with Spain.

John Griffiths’s side took the lead on 51 minutes through Chelsea midfielder Zoe Cross.

But Spain equalised just three minutes later through Lucía García.

England 1-1 Spain

UEFA Women's U17 Championship finals
Monday 22 June
Grindavík, Iceland

Neither side were able to find a winner in the closing stages, and the Young Lionesses will go again on Thursday when they take on host nation Iceland.

Griffiths said: “We had a game plan and the girls stuck to it and worked incredibly hard, though Spain made it really tough for us.

“They had more of the ball – we knew they would – but we tried whenever we regained the ball to keep possession in tight situations.

“We haven't had long to prepare for the group with these girls so they've done incredibly well. They were very, very nervous – some of our players would have been in the Under-16s if they'd been born three weeks later.

“But particularly in the second half they settled into the game well, got used to the conditions, and in tournament football it's particularly important not to lose your first game.

“They were very disciplined in what they executed so I'm very pleased. We haven't made many finals, so the more tournaments they get, the more experience they'll get and the less nervous too.

“The first game's out of the way, they've done well and now they need to settle and be themselves.”

England: 13 Sandy MacIver (Everton), 3 Mayumi Pacheco (Liverpool), 4 Chloe Peplow (Birmingham City), 5 Grace Fisk (Millwall & Lewisham), 6 Megan Finnigan (Everton), 9 Chloe Kelly (captain; Arsenal), 10 Georgia Allen (Arsenal), 12 Danielle Brown (Teesside Sport), 16 Zoe Cross (Chelsea), 17 Ashleigh Plumptre (Notts County), 18 Rianna Dean (Arsenal)

Substitutes: 7 Charlotte Devlin (Arsenal) for Dean 74

Substitutes not used: 1 Sian Rogers (Birmingham City), 2 Serena Fletcher (Manchester United), 8 Rachel Hardy (Chelsea), 11 Megan Tinsley (Derby County), 14 Mollie Rouse (Aston Villa), 15 Lucy Parker (Arsenal)

Goal: Cross 51

Head coach: John Griffiths

Referee: Martincic Ivana (CRO)

By Glenn Lavery