Wales manager Jayne Ludlow says she's thrilled after her side booked their place in the 2019 UEFA Women's U17s Elite Round.
UEFA WU17 2019 Qualifying Round
Wales 0-4 Serbia Mon 22 Oct
Wales 0-0 Republic of Ireland Thu 25 Oct
Wales 2-0 Albania Sun 28 Oct (J Longhurst 57' Z Collyer 79')
The young dragons endured a tough opening match with a 4-0 loss to hosts Serbia who went on to win the group with three straight victories. Ludlow's side showed great resilience in their second match, holding the Republic of Ireland to a goalless draw, a side that put fourteen goals past Albania in their opening match.
Wales entered the final match against Albania knowing a draw would be enough to secure qualification by finishing as one of the top third placed teams in the qualifying round. Despite having several chances and chances cleared off the line, Wales struggled to find the back of the net in the first half but the deadlock was finally broken short of the hour mark as Josie Longhurst got Wales the first goal of the campaign. Qualification was secured with ten minutes remaining as substitute Zoe Collyer made an instant impact, finding the back of the net shortly after coming on.
I'm really pleased, it's fantastic for the whole group of players and staff. They focused through the whole tournament and competed to the best of their ability. Playing in the Elite Round will be great for their development.
The draw for the Elite Round will take place on Friday 23 November at the UEFA Headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland with the matches taking place in Spring 2019.