Williamson scores key penalty for England’s Under 19s….

Leah Williamson celebrates scoring her penalty

Leah Williamson prepared to re-take her nerve-wracking penalty against Norway by going “for a sleep”. The England Under-19 player had to wait five days to take the spotkick after an unprecedented intervention by UEFA. Williamson had converted the original penalty on Saturday only for the German referee to mistakenly cancel it out. Uefa ordered it to be taken again on Thursday – and Williamson netted to book England’s place in the European Championships. The amazing scenes took place in Belfast five days after England and Norway had initially met. During the first game, England were trailing 2-1 when they were awarded a penalty in injury time at the end of the match.

Leah Williamson prepared to re-take her nerve-wracking penalty against Norway by going “for a sleep”. The England Under-19 player had to wait five days to take the spotkick after an unprecedented intervention by Uefa. Williamson had converted the original penalty on Saturday only for the German referee to mistakenly cancel it out. Uefa ordered it to be taken again on Thursday – and Williamson netted to book England’s place in the European Championships. The amazing scenes took place in Belfast five days after England and Norway had initially met. During the first game, England were trailing 2-1 when they were awarded a penalty in injury time at the end of the match. The rematch was officiated by a different referee, after Kurtes was sent home because of her error. Both teams had to resume the game with the same players who were on the field when the penalty was taken in the original match, although England could have changed who took the penalty. Both sides emerged at the Seaview Stadium in Belfast and headed straight to the Norway penalty area, rather than the centre circle. Having already scored a penalty in the win over Switzerland, Williamson was forced to wait a few more nervous moments as the referee ensured all the players were outside the box. But she coolly placed her spot-kick into the bottom left-hand corner to make it 2-2, leaving Norway just enough time to kick-off before the final whistle was blown and England celebrations could begin. England women’s head coach Mark Sampson, speaking after the senior side’s 2-1 friendly win over China, was full of praise for Williamson. “To take that penalty and the fact she has scored it speaks volumes for the character in the team and the personality she has,” he said. The rematch was officiated by a different referee, after Kurtes was sent home because of her error. Both teams had to resume the game with the same players who were on the field when the penalty was taken in the original match, although England could have changed who took the penalty. The result meant England finished as group winners, but Norway also qualified as the leading runner-up. England and Norway join Sweden, France, Germany, Denmark, Spain and hosts Israel in the finals, which begin on 15 July.

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