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England suffered a 2-1 defeat against Germany in their opening game of the UEFA European U19 Championships on Tuesday night.
Two first half goals at St. Johnstone's McDiarmid Park put the Germans in control at the break, an advantage which they never let slip despite some late pressure from the Young Lionesses.
Germany showed a real ruthless streak to take the lead after 12 minutes when Paulina Krumbeigel drove at the England defence before passing out to Gina Chmielinski on the right. Her cross was perfect for Melissa Kossler to glance a header home from close range.
The Young Lionesses could and should've been level, as Jessica Naz broke into the box just after the half hour mark and picked out Ebony Salmon in the centre, who fired over the bar.
Within 30 seconds, Germany had their second when a long ball over the top from defender Lisa Ebert was latched onto by Krumbiegel who took the ball in her stride before clipping a shot past Hannah Hampton.
After the break, Lauren James tried her luck with a thumping left footer which forced Wiebe Willebrandt into a save before Germany's Nicole Anyomi poked a shot narrowly wide after a darting run into the box at the other end.
England kept searching for a way back and they were denied by Willebrandt again when she denied Lauren Hemp with a smart save.
James then came even closer in the 89th minute when her free kick from the edge of the box beat the wall and Willebrandt only to come crashing back off the bar.
In the second minute of added time, England found a lifeline when Hemp's excellent run and cross from the left was laid into the path of Naz, who finished well into the bottom corner.
However there was not enough time for a leveller and England were unable to avoid their eighth successive defeat to Germany at this level. They must pick themselves up on Friday for their second group match, against current holders Spain.
England: Hannah Hampton, Grace Neville (sub Asmita Ale 56mins), Olivia Smith, Aimee Palmer (sub Ella Rutherford 75mins), Esme Morgan, Georgia Eaton-Collins, Jessica Naz, Emily Syme, Lauren Hemp, Lauren James, Ebony Salmon.
Germany: Wiebke Willebrandt, Lisann Kaut, Sophia Kleinherne, Melissa Kossler (sub Shekeira Martinez 74mins), Leonie Koster, Nicole Anyomi, Marie Muller, Gina-Maria Chmielinski (sub Alicia-Sophie Gudorf 87mins), Laura Donhauser, Paulina Krumbiegel, Lisa Ebert.
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Sophia Kleinherne slides in to tackle Ebony Salmon
(middle) Jessica Naz is surrounded by Paulina Krumbiegel and Lisa Ebert
(bottom) Aimee Palmer and Esme Morgan combine to keep out Melissa Kossler
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