2016 UEFA Women's under-19 Championship - Matchday One round-up: Fancied nations underwhelm in openers

While many had tipped France and Germany to top their respective groups, neither kicked off the tournament with a win.

2016 UEFA Women's under-19 Championship - Matchday One round-up: Fancied nations underwhelm in openers
Germany and Spain battled hard in their opener, with the latter coming out on top by a narrow 1-0 scoreline. (Photo: Gábor Baricsa)

The 2016 UEFA Women's under-19 Championship has been blown wide open after only round one, with the front-runners Germany and France falling to opening day defeats.

On the other hand, their victors have made early statements in the competition after being touted as potential underdogs. Spain defeated the former, Norway the latter, and now the two have significant boosts in the races to win their groups.

Both groups blown wide open as favourites lose

Captain Nahikari García was the match-winner for Spain on Tuesday as they defeated Germany 1-0 to kick off their campaign in style.

It was a tight and well-contested game between two heavyweights of the women's youth football scene, with the deadlock broken just past the hour.

Michaela Specht and Nina Ehegötz had Germany's best chances while Sandra Hernández nearly gave Spain a late second that would have ensured the win.

In the end, they didn't need it though, with a hard-working and determined performance enough for all three points by a slender margin.

For France, their defeat was not as disappointing as once Hawa Cissoko was dismissed for a tactical foul on 22 minutes, a victory was always going to be a big ask against a talented Norwegian side.

It took Norway just 14 minutes to take advantage, Katrine Jørgensen heading in Nora Lie's corner to send her side in at the break 1-0 up.

Vilde Fjelldal nearly doubled this lead just after the restart, but her header flew wide in a game that the team of 11 comfortably controlled.

France's best chances came from set pieces, with Delphine Cascarino's powerfully struck free-kick the best of the lot, but their opponents stood tall to claim the win.

Norway celebrate Jørgensen's match-winning goal. (Photo: Sportsfile)
Norway celebrate Jørgensen's match-winning goal. (Photo: Sportsfile)

Big wins elsewhere

While there were only two goals between the two big games of the day, there were 10 shared between the other two fixtures as Switzerland and the Netherlands ran riot.

The latter featured in the tournament's opening game; the early kick-off against this year's hosts Slovakia.

However, there was very little for the home fans to celebrate as the Dutch ran out 6-0 winners.

Top-scorer in qualifying, Sippie Folkertsma opened the scoring from the spot, while Jill Roord's cool finish and an own goal from Stephanie Deszathová had the team in orange 3-0 up at the break.

It was a day to remember for Roord who scored twice in the second half - a goal each side of Michelle Hendriks' header - to seal her hat-trick as the Netherlands sent out a message to the rest of Group A.

Meanwhile, neighbours Austria and Switzerland produced a game polar opposite to their geographical proximity, with the latter running out 4-0 winners in another rampant display on show in Slovakia today.

SC Freiburg's Cinzia Zehnder had the first and final say in the game as she notched a brace, with Naomi Mégroz assisting the first and adding a goal to her own name on the hour.

Lara Jenzer scored the third before Zehnder rounded things off with just two minutes to go.

Switzerland had plenty to celebrate on the opening day. (Photo: Gábor Baricsa)
Switzerland had plenty to celebrate on the opening day. (Photo: Gábor Baricsa)