The lineup for the UEFA European Under-17 Championship final tournament in Slovakia is complete after Sunday's games brought the action to a dramatic end in the elite round. The eight sides through to the finals will now fix their attention on Thursday's draw from the Congress Hotel Senec, which will be streamed live on UEFA.com at 14.30CET.
Qualifiers: Slovakia (hosts), Croatia (Group 1), Austria (Group 2), Sweden (Group 3), Ukraine (Group 4), Switzerland (Group 5), Russia (Group 6), Italy (Group 7)
Sweden and Ukraine both left it late to clinch the last two available places as the elite round drew to a thrilling conclusion – meaning that no side that appeared at the 2012 finals in Slovenia will be back again this year. Holders the Netherlands, who beat Germany in the last two finals, were eliminated by Italy, while Croatia finished above two other former winners in France and Spain.
In a group containing three past victors, Russia pipped England and Portugal in a tie-break after all ended on six points. As for 2002 winners Switzerland and Austria, who had not qualified for nine years, they also topped their sections to qualify alongside hosts Slovakia, who along with fellow debutants Sweden become the 33rd and 34th UEFA member association to contest a U17 final tournament since the category began in 2001/02.
In the draw, to be made by UEFA Youth and Amateur Football Committee chairman Jim Boyce and tournament ambassadors Ľubomir Moravčík and Viktor Pečovský, Slovakia will be placed as team one in Group A and the other seven nations will be picked out without further seeding. The order of the teams drawn will be B1, A2, B2, A3, B3, A4 and B4. Group A will be played in Zilina and Dubnica nad Vahom, with Group B in Nitra and Zlate Marovce.
The group stage games will be disputed on 5, 8 and 11 May, with the top two from each section advancing to the semi-finals on 14 May in Zilina, where the decider will also be held three days later. The top three teams in each pool will also advance to the FIFA U-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates from 17 October to 8 November.
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