Heartbreak for England under-19s
- Credit: PA Archive/PA Images
England’s under-19 women saw their European Championship hopes ended by France after conceding a late goal in Ballymena.
Arsenal’s Taylor Hinds was in the starting line-up and saw France’s Sarah Galera fire a free-kick into the wall after Chloe Peplow had fouled Sana Daoudi.
Mathilde Bourdieu hit a powerful low shot from the edge of the area before Sandy Maclver got down to save, before England’s first opening on 20 minutes saw Rinsola Babajide’s shot well kept out by French keeper Mylene Chavas.
Mo Marley’s young 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 fired over the crossbar.
Hinds created a good opening as she skipped past tackles and crossed to the far post but the onrushing Peplow couldn’t convert.
But 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 forced into her first change as Arsenal’s Georgia Allen limped off to be replaced by Birmingham’s Ellie Brazil and France saw Emelyene Laurent burst through on goal but miss the target as she was put off by the onrushing Maclver.
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The Lionesses began the second half the brighter as Babajide danced into the box and fired into the side netting.
Alessio Russo nearly put England ahead on 57 minutes as her long range free-kick was tipped over by Chavas, who punched away a cross from Liverpool’s Niamh Charles.
Chavas made a superb save on 72 minutes from Russo’s free-kick, before Fisk floated in a free-kick for Megan Finnegan, who fired into the keeper’s hands at close range.
Arsenal’s Anna Patten came on for Charles on 81 minutes and ran on to Brazil’s defence-splitting pass, but could not get her shot away.
And France snatched the winner two minutes from time when Boussaha was played through and her shot took a deflection before finding the top corner of the net to break English hearts.