Youth Teams
Youth Teams

England beat Scotland to qualify for 2018 FIFA Women's U20 World Cup

Friday 18 Aug 2017
The young Lionesses will travel to France for next year's World Cup

The young Lionesses are off to next year's FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup after beating Scotland to finish fifth at the UEFA Under-19 Championship finals.

Goals from Zoe Cross and Mollie Rouse were enough to seal victory in the play-off, making England the fourth and final European side to qualify for the World Cup.

The Lionesses were pipped to a place in the semi-finals by France on Monday but, with the victors hosting the 2019 World Cup, a play-off was required to determine which of the two groups' third-placed sides would take the final qualification berth.

That meant a meeting with the Auld Enemy in Lurgan, where Mo Marley's side quickly moved into the ascendancy.

The deadlock was duly broken on 28 minutes when Cross smashes home after Megan Finnigan had nodded down Alessia Russo's corner.

And the lead was doubled five minutes into the second half when Rouse tapped in after Finnigan's shot had been blocked by Scotland goalkeeper Rebecca Flaherty.

The Lionesses were good value for their victory and can now begin planning for next summer's tournament, much to Marley's delight.

She told TheFA.com: "Overall, it was a really good, mature performance.

"It was a great response today in managing a big game - it was a massive game for both teams, irrespective of who you're playing.

"With the football we've demonstrated across the whole of the tournament, I think we deserve to be in the World Cup.

"They're a great bunch of players. I'm fortunate to be the coach of this group of players who've had so many wonderful opportunities, although we've only really been together for seven months or so as one team."

Looking to next summer, Marley continued: "I'm quite excited now!

"Obviously we need to start planning and working through things. It has been an objective for us, but you can't put the detail into it until you've actually qualified. The next 12 months are massive.

"We've always told the players to demonstrate that they can play in an U20 World Cup, and when players have done that in the past it's helped them make the transition to the seniors a little bit quicker. That's a motivation for the players."

England (4-3-3): 1 Sandy MacIver (Clemson University); 2 Anna Patten (Florida State University), 5 Grace Fisk (capt; University of South Carolina), 6 Megan Finnigan (Everton), 3 Mayumi Pacheco (Doncaster Rovers Belles); 10 Zoe Cross (University of Missouri), 4 Mollie Rouse (University of Louisville), 18 Chloe Peplow (Birmingham City); 17 Niamh Charles (Liverpool), 11 Rinsola Babajide (Watford), 16 Alessia Russo (University of North Carolina)

Substitutes: 9 Ellie Brazil (Birmingham City) for Charles 65, 14 Taylor Hinds (Arsenal) for Babajide 84, 8 Georgia Allen (Syracuse University) for Cross 90

Substitutes not used: 13 Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City), 15 Lotte Wubben-Moy (University of North Carolina), 19 Isabella Sibley (Chelsea)

Goals: Cross 28, Rouse 50

Head coach: Mo Marley

By Jim Lucas