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Netherlands and Belgium reach elite round

Published: Sunday 28 October 2012, 21.15CET
Title holders the Netherlands are through to the elite round after a 2-1 victory against Belgium – already assured of going through – secured top spot in qualifying round Group 3.
by Berend Scholten & Giovanni de Paola
Netherlands and Belgium reach elite round
Riechedly Bazoer (left) played in last season's final against Germany ©Sportsfile
Published: Sunday 28 October 2012, 21.15CET

Netherlands and Belgium reach elite round

Title holders the Netherlands are through to the elite round after a 2-1 victory against Belgium – already assured of going through – secured top spot in qualifying round Group 3.

The Netherlands, winners of the past two finals, and Belgium are through to the UEFA European Under-17 Championship elite round after filling the top two spots in qualifying round Group 3.

Going into the final day, hosts Belgium were assured of their progress having beaten Lithuania 2-0 and Latvia 5-0. The Netherlands had defeated Latvia 2-1 but, after drawing 0-0 against Lithuania, still needed a point against Belgium on Sunday to be guaranteed of going through. They went one better and picked up a 2-1 victory to finish top of the section.

Captained by the one remaining player from the squad that retained the title in Slovenia last May – Riechedly Bazoer – the Netherlands went ahead 38 minutes in against Latvia through Dabney Souza. Damian van Bruggen then converted a penalty before the hour to seal the win, with Ņikita Koļesovs getting a late consolation for their Baltic opponents. As for Belgium, Zakaria Bakkali and Siebe Schrijvers buried their first-half goals against Lithuania and both were also on target in the defeat of Latvia two days later.

All eyes thus fell on the Low Countries derby in Eeklo, where Charly Musonda gave mini-tournament hosts Belgium a 16th-minute lead with a powerful drive following a fine dribble. Unperturbed, the Netherlands responded via a Bazoer penalty just beyond the hour after Yassine Ben Mohamadi had been brought down by Gilles Dewaele, and Ben Mohamadi completed the turnaround with a header a minute from time.

In the day's other game, Latvia beat Lithuania 1-0 to pick up their first points of the campaign. That outcomes means that Spain will definitely progress as one of the two third-placed sides with the best record against the leading pair in their section.

Last updated: 30/10/12 9.10CET

http://www.uefa.com/under17/news/newsid=1883592.html#netherlands+belgium+reach+elite+round

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