England’s u19 women suffered a 2-1 defeat against Germany in their Euro opener.
They now have two games against holders Spain and then Belgium to try to qualify for the semi-finals.
The draw was not kind to the young Lionesses with two traditional superpowers at youth level in Germany and Spain in their group. A tight defeat leaves any chance for semi-final qualification open and, therefore, the team can still achieve their first target of World Cup qualification.
The game actually could have finished with a 6-3 scoreline as Kössler for Germany and Ebony Salmon for England wasted a few chances. It has to be said that Hannah Hampton and Germany’s Willebrandt in goal were excellent throughout the game and made key saves to keep the score down.
It was a high quality game and Germany had a couple of impressive performers in Gina Chmielinski and Paulina Krumbiegel. On the England side, Lauren Hemp performed well, leading the other forwards by example.
This is one of the biggest strengths of the side with three pacy forwards in Hemp, Jessica Naz and Salmon along with a talented playmaker in Lauren James. England also sent on their other playmaker, Ella Rutherford, when chasing the game at 2-0 down but put her in place of the injured defensive midfielder, Aimee Palmer.
As we all know, that kind of move benefited Andrea Pirlo and Rutherford certainly did well in the position. But you do wonder if she could have been more efficient higher up the pitch instead of Emily Syme and James.
On the defensive side, the absence of left-back Pattinson, who is missing out on the tournament due to injury, was felt. Her replacement played the whole season at right-back. She was not helped by the team being easily beaten a couple of times in midfield in defensive transitions and holes had to be plugged by defenders.
Esme Morgan got booked late in the game and it looked like a DOGSO case as she fouled a German forward going through but the referee produced a yellow card which is good news.
The team selected by Rehanne Skinner was:
1 Hannah Hampton (Birmingham City); 3 Olivia Smith (University of Central Florida), 5 Esme Morgan (Manchester City) (c), 6 Georgia Eaton-Collins (University of Florida), 2 Grace Neville (London City Lionesses); 4 Aimee Palmer (Manchester United), 10 Emily Syme (Aston Villa), 14 Lauren James (Manchester United); 11 Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), 16 Ebony Salmon (Bristol City), 9 Jessica Naz (Tottenham Hotspur),
Substitutes: 19 Asmita Ale (Aston Villa) for Neville 56, 12 Ella Rutherford (Bristol City) for Palmer 75
Substitutes not used: 13 Emily Ramsey (Manchester United), 7 Lucy Fitzgerald (London City Lionesses), 8 Amy Rodgers (Liverpool), 15 Niamh Cashin (Rider University), 17 Jessica Park (Manchester City), 18 Molly Pike (Everton), 20 Kiera Skeels (Reading)
Again, that squad has no Arsenal players, something that is happening quite a lot at u19/u20 level as those players have left the club looking for first team football or gone to the USA to study.
Grace Neville, Georgia-Eaton-Collins, Jessica Naz, Lauren James all played in the Arsenal youth teams with James a first team member before leaving the club last Summer.
Ella Rutherford was on trial with us last Summer but ended up signing at Bristol.
We asked where are all Arsenal’s English players here.