Women's Team

Victory for Keating and Mace in U19s Euro opener

Khiara Keating and Ruby Mace helped England's Under-19s to victory in their Euros opener against Norway.

Keating, celebrating her 18th birthday, and Mace both completed the full 90 minutes, as the Young Lionesses stormed to a 4-1 win in the Czech Republic, thanks to an Agnes Beever-Jones brace, plus Jorja Fox and Grace Clinton strikes.

Our shot-stopper made a number of smart saves throughout, while Mace also produced a solid display, looking comfortable in possession and seeking to initiate attacking play down the flanks.

England, who won the tournament in 2009, started the brighter of the two sides with Freya Gregory carving the game's first chance, firing just over the bar.

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Keating was then called into action for the first time to deny Thea Kyvag, beating away a volleyed effort at the near post just before the quarter-hour.

The Lionesses opened the scoring minutes later when Beever-Jones collected Clinton's through-ball before cutting inside and curling beyond Selma Panengstuen.

Keating then thwarted Kyvag once more, as both goalkeepers were kept busy towards the end of the half - Panengstuen blocking another Beever-Jones strike at the other end.

Four-time runners-up Norway would find an equaliser on 37 minutes, capitalising from a corner through Cathinka Tandberg despite Keating's best efforts to claim.

Blindkilde Brown saw two low efforts well-saved either side of the break, while Tandberg blazed over the bar before Fox restored the Lionesses' lead with a low drive to the far corner after playing a neat one-two with Brown.

Keating had to be alert to deny Kyvag a third time, tipping over her cross-shot, and then had to receive treatment for a head injury sustained by challenge with Tandberg. Thankfully, she was able to continue.

Clinton went close to extending England's advantage but instead turned provider, playing Beever-Jones through to clip home her second of the game with little under 20 minutes to go.

The striker thought she had completed her hat-trick just four minutes later - only for the offside flag to be raised - and Lucy Watson also volleyed over, but Clinton would make it four, turning well and smashing into the top corner to cap a superb opening day triumph.

The Lionesses are back in action against Sweden on Thursday 30 June (14:00) and Germany on Sunday 3 July (19:00).

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