Netherlands coach Albert Stuivenberg hailed his side's feat of reaching the UEFA European Under-17 Championship semi-finals by clinching Group B with a 1-0 defeat of Romania, Adrian Văsâi frustrated by the early goal that did for his team. They are now a point behind second-placed Czech Republic, denied victory by a late Germany equaliser, though Steffen Freund was frustrated by other missed chances.
NETHERLANDS 1-0 ROMANIA
Albert Stuivenberg, Netherlands coach
When the whistle was blown there were no happy faces, that came after a few minutes when the players realised they had reached the semi-finals. I am very satisfied with the achievement of reaching the semi-finals.
We had some struggles at the start of the tournament with injured players so it is a fantastic result to reach the semis. In the second half Romania held back but my players were patient − maybe they could have been more patient as one mistake would have been enough for a Romanian equaliser. We hoped after the first goal that Romania would press forward so there would be space for our strikers, but it didn't happen.
Adrian Văsâi, Romania coach
Of course we didn't want to play for a draw from the beginning, we always play to win, but the goal from the Netherlands surprised us a little bit as it happened so soon. We knew the quality of the Dutch team and that if we offered them any space, any mistake from us would turn into a goal.
When we conceded we tried to change our tactics a little bit but at this level and in this age group that is difficult.
GERMANY 1-1 CZECH REPUBLIC
Steffen Freund, Germany coach
We need the killer instinct! We had like 21 big chances but at the end it is 1-1. But I hope that my players will learn from this match how important goals are in football. Now we do not have it in our own hands to get through the group stage. Yes, of course I am little bit down after this match. I feel sad for my team that they did not win.
Josef Csaplár, Czech Republic coach
We had a lot of luck today. We showed we can fight and that my players have good hearts, although we did not play our most stylish game. The most important thing is the progress of these young players. Even today we tried to play positively but Germany were too strong and you can only play as well as your opponents allow you to.
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