Netherlands and England will be facing each other once again for the second time in less than a week, this time in the final of the UEFA Under-17 Championship at the National Stadium on Wednesday, kick-off at 19:00.
Both teams played in Group A of the final tournament. They both won their first two games – England beat Malta 3-0 and Turkey 4-1 while the Netherlands defeated Turkey 3-2 and Malta 5-2. Then in a decisive clash for the top spot last Thursday, Netherlands registered a 2-0 to win the group.
Photos: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar
In the semi-finals, England were under constant pressure against Portugal who managed to hit the posts three times but John Peacock’s side hit twice after the break through Dominic Solanke and Patrick Roberts.
On the other hand, the Netherlands found no difficulty in disposing off Scotland, beating them 5-0 thanks to a penalty by Calvin Verdonk and goals by Abdelhak Nouri, Steven Bergwijn, Segun Owobowale and Dani van der Moot.
The Dutch are therefore coming from ten consecutive wins in this campaign as they won the Qualifying Round mini-tournament after beating the Faroe Islands, Georgia and San Marino and the Elite Round mini-tournament thanks to wins over Austria, Sweden and France. The Netherlands chase their third UEFA Under-17 Championship in four years after winning the competition in 2011 and 2012.
England, winners of the UEFA Under-17 Championship in 2010, won the three matches in the Qualifying Round beating Armenia, Gibraltar and Ireland and the three matches in the Elite Round, defeating the Czech Republic, Albania and Italy.
In the final, if the result is still draw at the end of the 80 minutes, there will be no extra-time and penalty-kicks will determine the winner.
UEFA President Michel Platini will be presenting the trophy after the final.