Bristol City summer signing Ebony Salmon netted the only goal of the match as England Under-19s defeated Belgium Under-19s 1-0 in their final UEFA Women’s Under-19 Championship fixture in Perth this afternoon.
The Lionesses already knew that they would be going home at the end of the group stage after losing both of their opening fixtures against Germany and Spain but they showed real spirit and pride against Belgium at McDiarmid Park.
Rehanne Skinner’s side were close to breaking the deadlock inside 20 minutes but Jess Park was unable to divert Salmon’s cross into the corner of the net.
It was Salmon who was to open the scoring for England just before the half-hour mark when she powerfully darted towards goal, showing great composure to see off the Belgian defence and fire the ball beyond opposing goalkeeper Femke Bastiaen.
The Lionesses were unlucky not to add to their lead during the remainder of the first 45 minutes when Park failed to trouble Bastiaen with a headed effort before seeing a sharp strike deflect just wide.
The Manchester City youngster was just as lively after the break and Bastiaen had to be alert to push an effort behind.
Opponents Belgium had to wait more than an hour for their big chance. Substitute Lea Cordier took aim and unleashed a powerful effort which looked to be heading into the back of the net but England keeper Emily Ramsey pulled off a stunning save to keep the scoreline at 1-0.
England substitute Molly Pike was inches away from extending her side’s lead in second half injury time but she headed an effort against the bar as the Lionesses ended their campaign with a one-goal victory.