England women: Leah Williamson penalty books Euro spot

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England women: Leah Williamson scores delayed U19 penalty

Leah Williamson prepared to retake her nerve-wracking penalty against Norway by going "for a sleep".

The England Under-19 player had to take the kick again five days on 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 celebrates scoring her crucial penalty
Leah Williamson's retaken penalty came five days after her initial effort was disallowed

Williamson scored it, but German official Marija Kurtes ruled it out after ruling some England players had encroached into the 18-yard box.

The penalty should have been retaken but Kurtes decided to award Norway a free-kick.

Uefa, which governs European football, then intervened and said the penalty should be retaken - the first time it had taken such a decision.

Before that could happen, England needed to beat Switzerland earlier in the day to keep alive their chances of qualification.

They did - 3-1 - leaving Williamson with the task of scoring her penalty to ensure England made the finals in Israel.

"I went for a sleep," she told BBC Sport. "There was nothing else to do. I was pacing around last night, so I didn't want to do that again."

Williamson said her mother managed to change her flights so she could stay to watch the penalty re-take.

"That was really nice," said the Arsenal defender.

England's qualifying group - results
Apr 4: Norway 2-2 England (completed on Apr 9)Apr 4: Switzerland 1-0 Northern Ireland
Apr 6: Norway 2-0 SwitzerlandApr 6: England 9-1 Northern Ireland
Apr 9: Switzerland 1-3 EnglandApr 9: Northern Ireland 1-8 Norway

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.

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England U19s denied a penalty retake

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.

Leah Williamson prepares to take her penalty
Leah Williamson knew that a successful spot-kick would put England into the European Under-19 Championship
Leah Williamson takes her penalty
The teenager hit an impressive penalty, which went into the bottom left corner
England women U19s celebrate Leah Williamson's successful penalty
That triggered English celebrations and secured a spot at this summer's tournament in Israel

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