England qualified for the 2015 UEFA Women’s Under-19 Championship on Thursday, topping Group Four thanks to an unusual decision to replay the final seconds of last week’s match against Norway.
Leah Williamson was allowed to retake a penalty in Belfast, after a refereeing mistake was made on Saturday that saw the Scandinavian side win 2-1.
In the original match, Williamson converted her spot-kick in the sixth minute of second-half stoppage time but it was ruled out for encroachment and, rather than allow a retake, referee Marija Kurtes awarded a free-kick to Norway.
Surprisingly, after Kurtes conceded she had made an error, UEFA decided to replay the final stages on Thursday and Williamson again converted the penalty, this time securing a 2-2 draw.
With England having earlier defeated Switzerland 3-1 – thanks to a brace from Jenna Dear and another penalty from Williamson – the draw saw Maureen Marley’s side move ahead of Norway to the top of Group Four.
England (seven points, plus 10 goal difference) finished ahead of Norway (seven, plus nine), although the Norwegians also qualified for this year’s European championships in Israel as the second-placed side with the highest points tally.
Even if Saturday’s original result had stood, England’s win over Switzerland would have been enough for them to also reach the European finals as the best second-placed team.
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