The Group Stage of the U17 Women’s European Championships has concluded. Four teams have automatically qualified to the quarter-finals, while eight teams will compete for the four places to join them.
Hungary, Spain, Greece, Netherlands are all guaranteed a top-eight finish – all secured victories on day four, none more so dramatic than Spain’s 11-9 victory over Italy, overturning a two goal deficit in the last quarter.
The remaining four teams from the upper tier will back themselves to make the quarter-finals, but they’ll need to overcome the four hungry nations from the lower tier of the competition (Group C and D).
Crossover 1 – Croatia vs Slovakia
Crossover 2 – France vs Turkiye
Crossover 3 – Israel vs Serbia
Crossover 4 – Italy vs Malta
Day 4, U17 Women’s European Championships, Manisa, Turkiye
Hungary displayed a strong performance in the second half, securing an 11-5 victory over Hungary and claiming the top spot in Group A, granting them direct entry to the quarter-finals. A dominant 8-2 second half showcased Hungary’s superiority on the scoreboard, with Natasa Lendvai and Kata Hajdu contributing three goals each to their team’s success.
Spain demonstrated a remarkable comeback in the final quarter to defeat Italy with a score of 11-9, earning them a direct qualification to the quarter-finals. The Setterosa held an 8-6 advantage heading into the last period, but a series of four consecutive scores from the Spanish team (Murillo, Penalver, Almeda, and Temprano) secured a crucial win, automatically qualifying them for the quarter-finals at Italy’s expense. Italy, on the other hand, will have preferred to avoid facing Malta in the cross-overs before progressing to the quarter-finals.
Greece has secured an automatic place in the quarter-finals of the European Championships, concluding their group play with an impressive three wins out of three matches. They sealed their quarter-final berth with a convincing 10-6 victory over Israel. The Israeli team will reflect on a subpar second period where Greece capitalised on four unanswered strikes. Despite Israel’s spirited performance in the second half, Greece remained in control and secured the victory. Notably, four Greek players contributed with double scores.
The Netherlands claimed the second spot in Group B, also earning an automatic qualification for the quarter-finals. They displayed an impressive offensive performance, overpowering France with a commanding 16-5 win. Tess Van der Meer and Pien Gorter stood out with four goals each.
Slovakia has positioned itself on the brink of a significant achievement in Manisa, securing a place in the quarter-finals after emerging as Group C winners with a decisive 17-3 victory over Switzerland. Nikita Petty’s outstanding performance, scoring five goals, played a crucial role in Slovakia’s domination from the outset. The upcoming cross-over match against Croatia will determine which team secures a spot in the top-8.
In the same group, Malta demonstrated their strength, defeating Romania with a scoreline of 12-9 and securing the second spot. Malta’s strong showing, particularly with three consecutive goals in the third to fourth quarter, stifled Romania’s resurgence. Despite this achievement, the Maltese team faces a formidable challenge ahead with a cross-over game against Italy.
Group D provided thrilling action until the very end, with Ireland staging a remarkable comeback to secure a 10-7 victory over Ukraine. This win ultimately relegates the Ukrainian team to a 17th place finish in the Manisa tournament. Aine Hennessy from Ireland and Emilia Khmil from Ukraine both showcased outstanding performances, each scoring five goals. Although all five teams in the group managed to secure at least one win, it is the Yellow and Blues who miss out on a spot in the 13th-16th Semi-Finals. In the final match of the day, the hosts Turkiye maintained an impressive record of four wins out of four in Group D, as they clinched a hard-fought victory over Serbia. The Turks pulled away in the second period with four unanswered goals (Arik, Pehlivanoglu, Gurelli and Dabbag).