Match report: England crash out of U19 Euros
England’s Uefa Euro under 19 championship tournament ended after a 1-0 defeat to France at the Ballymena showgrounds thanks to a late Lina Boussaha goal.
France had the first chance of note on 13 minutes as Sarah Galera slammed her free-kick of the wall after Chloe Peplow had brought down Sana Daoudi.
England goalkeeper then had to be alert on 17 minutes as Mathilde Bourdieu hit a powerful low shot from the edge of the area before Sandy Maclver got down low to hold her powerful effort.
England’s first opening came three minutes later through Rinsola Babajide who applies her trade at Watford Ladies her shot was well kept out by Mylene Chavas in the French goal.
Mo Marley’s Lionesses were starting to take control as Alessia Russo found herself with acres of space at the back post after a low Georgia Allen cross but she fired over the crossbar.
Taylor Hinds who is currently playing for Arsenal Ladies created a good opening for the Lionesses as she skipped the French tackles before crossing to the back post however the onrushing Chloe Peplow couldn’t get the all-important connection.
France were nearly gifted a goal as a lack of concentration in the English midfield saw Cindy Caputo pick up a loose ball before her low cross was well cut out by captain Grace Fisk.
Marley was then forced into his first change of the game as Arsenal’s Georgia Allen limped off before she was replaced by Ellie Brazil of Birmingham City.
On the stroke of the break France thought they were ahead as Emelyene Laurent burst through on goal but she couldn’t direct her effort on target as she was put off by the onrushing Maclver.
It was the Lionesses who began the second half the brighter as Babajide danced her way into the box before lasing her effort into the side netting.
The impressive winger Russo nearly put England ahead on 57 minutes as she saw her long range free-kick tipped over the bar by the fine reactions of the French keeper Chavas.
Chavas had to be alert once again midway through the second half as she flew through the bodies to punch away a cross from Liverpool Ladies Niamh Charles who is set to break into the first team for this coming season after the departure of Katie Zelem to Juventus.
Chavas then made a superb save on 72 minutes as Russo slammed a freekick goalward from just outside the box the keeper flying to the right to palm the ball away.
The young Lionesses should have been ahead on 75 minutes as Fisk floated in a freekick for Megan Finnegan but she could only fire her effort into the keeper’s hands from four yards out the Everton midfielder really should have scored.
England’s first change of the game came on 81 minutes as Charles was replaced by Arsenals Anna Patten and it was the latter who thought she had opened the scoring as Brazil played in a defence splitting pass however Patten couldn’t get her shot away on goal when well placed to score.
France however against the run of play took the lead in the 88th minute as a mistake in the England midfield saw Boussaha played through before her shot took a deflection finding the top corner of the net breaking English hearts in the process.
Maclver, Pacheco, Rouse, Fisk, Finnigan, Allen, Babajide, Hinds, Russo, Charles, Peplow
Chavas, Dechlily, Piga,Laurent,Fercocq, Caputo, Goetsch, Galera, Daoudi, Bourdieu, Karadjov