Netherlands to face Italy in final of European U17 Championships
Dutch beat Italy on penalties in last year’s final in England
Iyenoma Udogie scored Italy’s winning goal in the Uefa European Under-17 Championship semi-final against France. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho
The Netherlands will face Italy in Sunday’s final of the European Under-17 Championships in Tallaght after both sides scored late winners in their respective semi-finals on Thursday. The game will be a repeat of last year’s decider in England where the Dutch eventually won the title on penalties.
At Belfield, they made hard work of beating Spain – champions themselves two years ago – but eventually came out on top thanks to a neatly worked and well finished goal from Alkmaar’s Mohamed Taabouni a couple of minutes from time.
The Spaniards had started the game well and might well have taken the lead themselves on a couple of occasions but their opponents gradually got the upper hand before dominating the latter stages of the contest.
Naci Unuvar then hit the crossbar for the Netherlands and Taabouni passed up a really good opportunity to catch the goalkeeper well off his line before he eventually did really well to provide the finish to a quick sequence of passes with a low shot to the bottom right corner.
In the evening game, France started as favourites against Italy and looked to be in a decent position to push on and win the game when Enzo Milet gave them the lead with a chipped finish four minutes before the break.
Sebastiano Esposito levelled things with an outstanding free almost immediately, however, and Iyenoma Udogie then clinched the win for the Italy with a close-range finish after Samuel Giovane had teed him up with a low cross into the area.
Earlier Hungary beat Belgium on penalties in the playoff to secure a place at next year’s World Cup. The two sides had initially finished level on a goal apiece at the end of the 90 minutes.
Sunday’s final will kick off at 4.30pm.