Sophie Bradley 24, Natasha Dowie 60, Ellen White 90+ 5
Marie-Laure Delie 64
2007 UEFA Women's U19 Championship
5pm (4pm local time), Friday 20 July 2007
Leeds United's Sophie Bradley put England in front on 24 minutes, pouncing on Ellen White's header across goal to finish. Charlton's Natasha Dowie doubled England's lead with an hour played before French substitute Marie-Laure Delie set-up an interesting last 26 minutes heading past Danielle Hill.
But the Three Lions held on and White clinched a 3-1 victory in injury time to go top of Group B.
The match had started very differently as England were almost caught cold with a goal inside the first 60 seconds. The elusive Charlotte Lozé broke clear on the left and her cross was met by Eugénie Le Sommer's acrobatic overhead kick that Danielle Hill did well to claw to safety.
England's own No7 Clarke was also proving a handful as Marley's team recovered well, their industrious five-player midfield starving the French of time in the middle of the park.
Chances were at a premium, however, and at the other end it took a great tackle from Elizabeth Edwards to deny Charlotte Amaury as the French striker drove into the box. It proved a crucial interception and a minute later England were ahead as Bradley headed in via the underside of the bar.
By now the rain was lashing down but it did not dampen Marley's team's enthusiasm as they started to boss the game, though it was France that ended the half on the offensive as Amaury twice threatened. The 19-year-old teed up Marine Masson and then Chloé Mazaloubeaud but with the goal at their mercy neither managed to test Hill.
It was enough to convince France coach Stéphane Pilard to make a change at the interval, replacing Masson with Delie. The No9 ended qualifying as top scorer and almost made an immediate impression as she broke through but England were rescued by the offside flag.
Yet England proved resilient and went 2-0 up on the hour when White's dangerous low cross fell kindly for Dowie who fired into the empty net after Clarke and Karima Benameur collided. Delie then ensured a nervous end to the match before White finally sealed the win.
1 Danielle Hill, 5 Fern Whelan, 6 Sophie Bradley, 12 Chelsea Weston, 7 Jessica Clarke, 8 Danielle Buet, 10 Natasha Dowie (18 Faye McCoye, 84), 14 Elizabeth Edwards, 17 Remi Allen, 3 Sian Larkin, 9 Ellen White (4 Sophie Walton, 80)
Subs not used: 13 Rebecca Spencer, 2 Jayne Eadie, 11 Claire Rafferty, 15 Kelly Lawrence, 16 Jade Moore
1 Karima Benameur, 2 Elodie Cordier, 3 Emilie Gonssollin, 5 Laura Agard, 13 Charlotte Bilbault, 6 Chloé Mazaloubeaud (17 Zohra Ayachi, 47), 7 Charlotte Lozé, 8 Eugénie Le Sommer, 10 Amandine Henry (14 Inès Dahou, 78), 11 Marine Masson (9 Marie-Laure Delie, 46), 18 Charlotte Amaury
Subs not used: 16 Emeline Mainguy, 4 Livia Jean, 12 Astrid Chazal, 15 Gwenaëlle Butel
Referee Kirsi Savolainen (FIN)
Assistant referee Ttvia Malca (ISR) Oxana Akulova (RUS)
Fourth official Zuzana Kovacova (SVK)
UEFA Women's U19 Championship, Finals - Full Match Schedule
For more information on the tournament, visit UEFA.com
photos Janos Schmidt