UEFA: Czechs win as Qualifying begins for Under-17 tournament
The month of March is going to be busy for the various Under-17 national teams hoping to make it to the UEFA U-17 Championship finals which will be held in Serbia later this year. Defending champions England, who defeated Spain in the 2010 final in Liechtenstein, begin their campaign on March 26th against Northern Ireland and will play three matches in the space of five days, the others coming against a revenge seeking Spanish side as well as Belgium.
The first games in qualifying kicked off today in Group 1 with the Czech Republic being the only team to enjoy a victory after beating neighbours Slovakia 1-0 thanks to a late Dan Fojtasek goal whilst Italy and Scotland could only muster a goalless draw. This is the only group which begins and completes in the first half of the month with the final round of games coming on March 14th.
Below is a list of the seven qualifying groups. The top team in each group qualifies for Serbia 2011:
GROUP 1: CZECH REPUBLIC, ITALY, SCOTLAND, SLOVAKIA
GROUP 2: AUSTRIA, CROATIA, NETHERLANDS, PORTUGAL
GROUP 3: DENMARK, GREECE, LATVIA, REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
GROUP 4: GERMANY, SWITZERLAND, TURKEY, UKRAINE
GROUP 5: BELGIUM, ENGLAND, NORTHERN IRELAND, SPAIN
GROUP 6: BELARUS, FRANCE, GEORGIA, NORWAY
GROUP 7: HUNGARY, ICELAND, ROMANIA, RUSSIA