UEFA European U17 Championship final: Netherlands beat Italy on penalties

Sunday 20 May 2018
This was the sixth time in seven European U17 Championship finals that the game went to penalties

Joey Koorevaar saved two penalties to help the Netherlands win the European U17 Championships against Italy at New York Stadium in Rotherham on Sunday night.

After a cagey first half which saw no goals scored, four strikes found the back of the net in the second period with the Netherlands going 1-0 thanks to Jurriën Maduro.

Two goals in 90 seconds from Italy through Samuele Ricci and captain Alessio Riccardi saw them go ahead but Brian Brobbey equalised to send the game to penalties, where the Netherlands scored four to Italy’s one.

Italy v Netherlands
  • UEFA European U17 Championship
  • Final
  • Sunday 20 May, 2018
  • New York Stadium, Rotherham
  • By Will Thompson
Ryan Gravenberch had two chances in quick succession, the first thundering against the bar from 25 yards out, the second a cut back that was fired straight at the Italian keeper.

The Dutchman should have opened the scoring moments later when Alessandro Russo pushed a free kick into his path right in front of goal, but the striker blasted over.

Emmanuel Gyabuaa then had a similar problem at the other end, managing to get on the end of a brilliant cross from the left by Ricci but fluffing his lines in front of goal.

Koorevaar made a good save from a deflected shot on the edge of the box by Ricci, tipping it over the bar while back-peddling.

But it was Maduro who opened the scoring six minutes after half time, playing a lovely one-two with the captain Daishawn Redan to get into the box before his deflected shot looped over the keeper into the corner.

Ricci equalised with an outstanding strike, punching a shot from under his feet across the face of the goal from the edge of the box.

Only 90 seconds later and the final was turned on its head with another beautiful strike from range. Riccardi whipped a curling effort from the left corner of the box deliciously into the net to give Italy the lead with less than 20 minutes to play.

Netherlands levelled late on though as Brobbey tapped in a delightful outside-of-the-boot cross from Mohammed Ihattaren.

Edoardo Vergani came inches within winning the trophy for Italy with a free-kick just outside the box that flew agonisingly past the post late on. But, after a few nervous moments at the other end, penalties ensued for the sixth time in seven European U17 Championship finals.

Having won both their penalty shoot-outs in the previous two fixtures, beating Northern Ireland and England, Netherlands had experience in this situation and it showed.

Wouter Burger was the first to step up for the Dutch and he calmly slotted his penalty, before Italy’s Nicolo Armini blasted his straight at Koorevaar.

Ihattaren then buried his despite slipping on the spot, then Koorevaar again got a hand to Vergani’s tame effort to put Netherlands in the driving seat.

Maduro just about netted his effort for Netherlands after Russo managed to get a touch on it, and Jean Freddi Greco converted his to keep hopes alive for Italy.

But Ramon Hendriks coolly smashed in to seal victory for the Dutch in Rotherham and they lifted the trophy as champions.

By FA Staff