As Scotland’s Euro 2017 adventure comes to an end, there is another one about to start as Scotland’s Under-19s travel to Northern Ireland for the 2017 UEFA Women’s Under-19 European Championship.
Scotland qualified for the finals after topping their Elite Qualifying Group as they even overcame a terrible decision from UEFA to punish the Scotland squad for picking up a stomach bug in the first stage of qualification. They had looked like they would top their group, after comfortably beating Albania and Cyprus, making the Elite Group Qualifiers potentially easier. But after having to postpone their final game against Serbia, UEFA decided that the Scotland squad being ill was not a good enough reason for starting the match – and awarded the 3-0 win to Serbia.
Scotland still qualified for the Elite Round – but as third seeds. Serbia went through as first seeds, meaning that they avoided being drawn against France, England, Germany, Spain and Finland.
Scotland was drawn in a group with Finland, the Republic of Ireland and Ukraine. A 97th-minute penalty from Erin Cuthbert saw them get off to a winning start, beating the Republic of Ireland 2-1. Their second match was against the top seeds, Finland. Carla Boyce put Scotland in front, but soon after, Finland equalised and once again, Scotland won thanks to a Cuthbert penalty – this time, a little bit earlier, coming in the 71st minute. Scotland’s final match ended with a 5-0 win over Ukraine, with braces from Boyce and Cuthbert with Cornet scoring the fifth goal.
Scotland faces a tricky job getting out of their group and into the Semi-Finals. Northern Ireland will be appearing at the tournament for the first time, qualifying as the hosts, and will undoubtedly provide Scotland with a difficult test. But the other two teams in their groups will have sights firmly set on the final.
This is the fourteenth time that Germany has qualified for the tournament since it became an Under-19 tournament in 2002. In that time, they have won in four times, with their last victory coming in 2011 when they beat Norway 8-1 in the Final. Last year, they failed to qualify from the group, including losing their opening game 1-0 to Spain, thanks to a goal from Nahikari Garcia. Scotland has played Germany at the tournament twice before, losing 7-0 in 2008 and then being beaten 5-1 two years later, with Rebecca Dempster scoring Scotland’s goal.
Spain will be wanting to end a very frustrating run at the tournament. They have lifted the trophy once before, beating Germany 2-1 to win the 2004 championship, but that has been their solitary success. And to make things even worse, they have lost the past three finals and four of the past five.
The tournament first ran in 2002, when it changed from Under-18 to Under-19s. Scotland qualified for the tournament for the first time in 2005 where they finished bottom of their group, losing all three of their matches. It would take three more years for Scotland to qualify again, and once again they finished bottom of the group without picking up a point.
When they reached the 2010 championship, once again, they were drawn in a group with England – and whilst they failed to make it out of the group, they would pick up their first point as they drew 3-3 with Italy – with Sarah Ewens and a brace from Rebecca Dempster securing the point.
Four years later, Scotland would pick up their first win at the tournament. In their opening game against Belgium, Scotland were 2-0 victors with Zoe Ness and Caroline Weir getting on the scoresheet as they made history. Unfortunately, they would finish third as they lost 3-2 to the Netherlands and 5-0 to Norway.
Tuesday 8 August: Scotland v Germany, kick-off: 3pm (Windsor Park, Belfast)
Friday 11 August: Scotland v Northern Ireland, kick-off: 7pm (Mourneview Park, Lurgan)
Monday 14 August: Scotland v Spain, kick-off: 7pm (Mourneview Park, Lurgan)
Scotland Women’s Under-19 Squad
Goalkeepers: Erin Clachers (Glasgow City), Rebecca Flaherty (Liverpool)
Defenders: Ellis Dalgliesh (Durham), Jordan McLintock (Hamilton Academical), Cailin Michie (Hibernian), Jamie-Lee Napier (Celtic), Donna Paterson (Aberdeen), Courtney Whyte (Celtic)
Midfielders: Claire Adams (Rangers), Chantelle Brown (Rangers), Chelsea Cornet (Hibernian), Amy Gallacher (Hibernian), Brogan Hay (Glasgow City), Samantha Kerr (Glasgow City), Ellis Notley (Hibernian)
Forwards: Carla Boyce (Glasgow City), Kirsty Hanson (Doncaster), Shannon McGregor (Aberdeen)