Luckless England fail to qualify for U17 Women's World Cup finals

Last Updated: 08/12/13 7:08pm

England missed out on a place at the 2014 FIFA U17 Women's World Cup after they were beaten in a penalty shootout by Italy in their third place play-off at the European Championship.

The Italians won the shootout 4-3 at the Pirelli Stadium in Burton to win the match and join Spain and Germany in the tournament in Costa Rica next March.

The opening half was one of very few chances but England thought they had taken the lead on 48 minutes when Sophie Stamp headed home, only to be denied by an offside flag.

Italy had by far the better of possession afterwards, as they had in the first half, but they struggled to create clear-cut chances.

England keeper Kirstie Levell did well to keep out Gloria Marinelli in a one-on-one and substitute Valentina Bergamaschi couldn't quite get on the end of a teasing cross in the closing seconds, meaning the lottery of a shootout.

But England were always up against it after Alice Hassall missed the first kick, with Chloe Kelly also failing to convert as Italy stormed into a 3-1 lead.

The Azzurri gave England hope when keeper Francesca Durante missed, and Keira Walsh levelled the scores at 3-3, but Marta Vergani ignored the pressure on her and scored the winning spot-kick to give her side the final European place in the World Cup.

Germany won the final after a dramatic 3-1 penalty shootout victory over Spain in Chesterfield.

Spain dominated proceedings and opened the scoring after just nine minutes through Patricia Guijarro who netted her first goal of the tournament.

Despite having numerous opportunities to make the game safe, Spain, the third-placed side in last year's tournament, conceded an equaliser four minutes before time when defender Isabella Hartig struck for the Germans to send the game into penalties.