UEFA Under-17 Championship: Scotland turn defeat into victory to reach semi-finals

UEFA-Under-17-Malta2014-logoScotland were the last team to reach the semi-finals of the UEFA Under-17 Championship finals after they came from behind to defeat Switzerland 3-1 at the Hibernians Stadium. Scotland, who finish second in Group B, face Group A winners Netherlands.

In the other semi-final, Group B winners Portugal, who beat Germany 1-0 in another match on Thursday, play Group A runner-up England.

Kick-off times for the two semi-finals which will be played on Sunday are yet to be determined although one will kick at 17:45 and the other at 20:45.

Switzerland held the initiative during the first half, taking a well-deserved lead on the 20th minute when off a cross by Mirlind Kryeziu, Dimitri Oberlin slotted the ball past Robby McCrorie.

However the second half was a different story. Scotland equalised five minutes after the break through substitute Craig Wighton who managed to place the ball at the back of the net following a cross by Scott Wright.

The Scots forged ahead on the 56th when off a good run on the left, Craig Wighton crossed, Ryan Hardie headed the ball down and Jake Sheppard hit home from close range.

Scotland put victory beyond any doubts on the 63rd minute when Aidan Nesbitt intelligently served substitute Ryan Hardie who chested the ball down before hitting past Kobel.

On the 72nd minute, Switzerland were awarded a penalty but Boris Babic’s effort from the penalty spot was neutralised by the Scotttish goalkeeper.

SWITZERLAND Gregor Kobel, Samir Bajrami, Tobias Schattin, Alban Selmanaj (77′ Robin Huser), Mirlind Kryeziu, Remo Arnold, Arxhend Cani (58′ Boris Babic), Djibril Sow, Albian Ajeti, Dimitri Oberlin, Harun Alpsoy (59′ Derek Kutesa).

SCOTLAND Robbie McCrorie, Sam Wardrop, Jack Breslin, Kyle Cameron, Joseph Thomson, Aidan Nesbitt, Scott Wright (79′ Michael Kelly), Calvin Miller (41′ Ryan Hardie), Zak Jules, Cameron Ballantye (41′ Craig Wighton), Jake Sheppard.

Referee: Aliyar Aghayev (AZE)

Photos: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar

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under-17-germany-portugal140515pzcAt the National Stadium, Portugal maintained a perfect record with a narrow win over Germany.

Portugal coach Emilio Peixe made wholesale changes to the team as they were already sure of the top spot.

The Germans had an excellent opportunity to take the lead one minute from the end of the first half when off a corner by Arianit Ferati, Phillipp Ochs headed the ball into the direction of Allessandro Fiore-Tapia whose close-range header hit the upright.

Joao Carvalho missed a good chance for the Portuguese six minutes in the second half and they almost paid dearly for it as Fiore-Tapia had the opportunity to put Germany ahead but hit the side netting with the open goal at his mercy.

However on the 51st, Portugal managed to break the deadlock thanks to a great direct freekick from the left by Pedro Rodriges which gave Timo Königsmann no chance.

Portugal could have added more goals but Pedro Empis hit the upright on 72 minutes before Alexandre Silva rounded the goalkeeper and hit wide from an excellent position a few seconds later.

PORTUGAL Fabio Duarte. Ruben Dias, Pedro Rodrigues, Goncalo Rodrigues (52′ Ruben Neves), Luis Mata, Francisco Ferreira, Pedro Empis, Joao Carvalho (72′ Yuri Ribeiro), Diogo Izata, Pedro Delgado, Buta (41′ Alexandre Silva).

GERMANY Timo Königsmann, Nicolas Clasen, Matthias Bader (67′ Patrick Kammerbauer), Benedikt Gimber, Damir Bektic (62′ Finn Porath), Arianit Ferati (74′ Max Besuschkow), Benjamin Henrichs, Phillipp Ochs, Lukas Boeder, David Sauerland, Allessandro Fiore-Tapia.

Referee: Andreas Ekberg (SWE)