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England have been crowned as UEFA Under-19 Champions for the first time as they cruised to a convincing 2-0 victory over Sweden in the Final in Borisov.
The victory marked the first time that an England women's team have lifted a major trophy and Mo Marley's side are the first England team of any kind to win a major tournament since the under-18s - including the likes of Sol Campbell, Robbie Fowler, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville - won the UEFA title back in 1993. England also had the distinction of not conceding a goal throughout the entire tournament.
England went into the game as firm favourites having already beaten Sweden 3-0 in the group stages and lived up to their billing with a commanding performance, the result never looking in doubt after two goals in a four-minute first half spell, birthday girl Toni Duggan giving them the lead and Jordan Nobbs scoring the second with a brilliant long range strike.
Nobbs produced the first effort on target with a 25-yard shot which flew straight at Hilda Carlen in the Swedish goal. However on the quarter hour it took a good save to prevent England going ahead, Michelle Hinnigan breaking into the area where her low cross picked out Isobel Christiansen whose shot was turned around the post by Carlen. From the resulting corner, Carlen failed to hold Hinnigan's centre and Gilly Flaherty fired a shot against the post.
Hinnigan hit the side netting following some good work from Jade Moore but the goal England craved came in the 33rd minute.
The move was initiated by Flaherty who carried the ball towards the area before finding Christiansen, who skipped past two defenders and slid the ball across, Moore setting up Toni Duggan to mark her 18th birthday by producing a clinical finish from six yards.
England quickly sought a second and it almost came a minute later as a slide rule pass into the area by Moore found Hinnigan who was denied by a point blank save from Carlen.
However the Swedish goalkeeper could do nothing as England doubled their advantage in spectacular style. A cross from Moore was cleared by Emma Kulberg but only as far as Nobbs who unleashed a 30-yard dipping shot which gave Carlen no chance.
The pattern of play continued at the start of the second half with England continuing to dictate and creating chances. Duggan lifted a shot over the bar after a free kick had been half cleared and the striker almost found the net as a speculative 20-yard effort squirted under a diving Carlen but into the side netting.
Sweden tried to rally but made little headway against an England defence which stood strong and prevented their opponents from getting any sights on goal. Moore was having an outstanding game and her display was almost rewarded with a goal, Duggan striding down the right where her cross was helped goalwards by Laura Coombs and Moore was denied at point blank range by Carlen.
Jessica Holbrook did get the ball in the net but was denied by an offside flag, whilst Carlen turned a shot from Duggan over the bar as England began to finish strongly. Sweden hit back with Olivia Schough driving a shot just wide on the turn but it was a rare moment of worry for England who only had to negotiate a few more minutes before the celebrations could begin.
England: Rebecca Spencer, Chelsea Weston, Gilly Flaherty, Remi Allen, Lucy Bronze, Kerys Harrop, Isobel Christiansen (sub Jessica Holbrook 79mins), Jordan Nobbs, Toni Duggan, Michelle Hinnigan (sub Laura Coombs 67mins), Jade Moore. Subs not used: Ashley Baker, Abbie Prosser, Gemma Bonner, Demi Stokes, Lauren Bruton.
Sweden: Hilda Carlen, Josefine Alsson, Emma Kulberg (sub Olivia Schough 80mins), Emelie Lovgren, Cecilia Bergstrom (sub Julia Lyckberg 58mins), Emilia Appelqvist, Sofia Jakobsson, Tilda Heimersson, Catrine Johansson, Antonia Goransson, Jennifer Egelryd (sub Jenny Hjohlman 45mins). Subs not used: Susanne Nilsson, Sanna Svensson, Elisabeth Lisa Klinga, Jessy Sharro.
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