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Peerless Portugal power through to Malta finals

Published: Monday 31 March 2014, 20.00CET
Portugal made serene progress as an SL Benfica-accented team wrapped up a third 3-0 victory in elite round Group 7 to complete a 100% record in qualifying.
by Carlos Machado
Peerless Portugal power through to Malta finals
Axel Andresson of Iceland grapples with Hugo Neto during Portugal's 3-0 Group 7 victory ©fpf.pt
Published: Monday 31 March 2014, 20.00CET

Peerless Portugal power through to Malta finals

Portugal made serene progress as an SL Benfica-accented team wrapped up a third 3-0 victory in elite round Group 7 to complete a 100% record in qualifying.

Portugal wrapped up a third successive 3-0 victory in Group 7, this time at Iceland's expense, as they made serene progress to the 2014 UEFA European Under-17 Championship finals.

Triumphs over Latvia and Ukraine meant that Emílio Peixe's side were through before Monday's concluding game, but Iceland were subjected to the same fate as the section hosts completed a 100% record in qualifying.

In truth, a Portugal squad featuring 12 players from SL Benfica's academy were always too strong. Even without playmaker Renato Sanches, rested after inspiring the first two victories, Iceland could only resist for 20 minutes before Gonçalo Rodrigues broke through. From then on it was plain sailing for a team that also won three out three in the qualifying round, with skipper Rúben Neves once again scoring and demonstrating that he brings an all-round game to his No6 role.

Neves had been on target against Ukraine too, the decisive fixture in Group 7 as Portugal advanced with a match to spare past the side who would finish second in the group on six points. It was a measure of the home team's dominance that they racked up 20 attempts on goal to the Ukrainians' eight. In their first outing, they managed 22 to Latvia's one (which was off target).

Latvia lost 5-1 to Ukraine on Monday, but did bow out with a point after keeping Iceland – beaten 2-0 by Ukraine on the opening day – at bay in their second game. With Portugal so dominant, the rest were left feeding off scraps.

Last updated: 31/03/14 22.43CET

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