England Score Penalty in 16-Second Replay Prompted by Ref Error

The England women’s youth soccer team qualified for the European under-19 championship after scoring a penalty in a 16-second replay prompted by an error by one of the sport’s top referees.

UEFA, European soccer’s governing body, had ordered the replay -- the first in its history -- starting from a disallowed penalty in the 96th minute. Marija Kurtes, the 2014 German referee of the year, had wrongly given opponents Norway, leading 2-1, a free kick instead of allowing Leah Williamson to take the penalty again in the April 4 qualifying match.

Williamson’s penalty kick in the replay in Belfast was her second of the day after she scored one in England’s 3-1 defeat of Switzerland. The 2-2 draw against Norway was enough to put England coach Mo Marley’s side through to the European championships.

“I went for a sleep,” after the Switzerland match, Arsenal Ladies player Williamson, 18, told BBC Sport last night. “There was nothing else to do. I was pacing around last night so I didn’t want to do that again.”

Despite the pressure, Williamson didn’t waver, scoring with a blistering right-footed shot into the left-hand corner to put the team through to the tournament hosted by Israel in July.

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