The UEFA European Under-17 Championship consists of three distinct stages: the qualifying round, the elite round and the final tournament. The format changed for 2014/15 with the expansion of the final tournament from eight to 16 teams.
The qualifying round, played in autumn, is made up of 13 groups of four countries playing in one-venue mini-tournaments. The top two from each pool progress alongside the five third-placed sides with the best record against the leading pair in their groups.
In the elite round, held in early spring, those 31 qualifiers plus the top seed – given a bye this far – compete in eight mini-tournament groups of four. The group winners and seven runners-up with the best record against the teams first and third in their section advance to the finals to join the hosts.
In the final tournament the contenders are split into four groups of four, with the front two from each proceeding to the knockout phase.
Further details, including the criteria for separating sides that finish level on points in a group, or after 80 minutes in a match, can be found in the official competition regulations.
It was a case of 'what might have been' for Germany coach Christian Wück, after his side opened their UEFA European Under-17 Championship Group B account with a 1-1 draw against a Switzerland team that had Remo Arnold sent off and saved a penalty late on.
Scotland were seen off 2-0 by Portugal but defeated coach Scot Gemmil took heart from his charges' performance, stating that they will be "ready to go again" for their tie with the Germans on Monday. Emilio Peixe felt Portugal were good value for the three points.
Germany 1-1 Switzerland
Christian Wück, Germany coach
We had some good goalscoring opportunities that we didn't take. We had a break in our game when Switzerland came into it, so yes, it was quite even; we had a good 20 minutes and they had a good 20 minutes. What we did after half-time, with our dominance in possession, our short passing and the chances we created, was precisely what this team is about. We really should have got a better reward.
Their goal was a mistake from us and we missed a penalty, so this result is frustrating. The performance, however, was impressive given the weather. At the moment, disappointment is the overwhelming emotion because we should have won. However, there were only positives and we dominated.
Yves Débonnaire, Switzerland coach
This is a good point for us. We didn't start the game well and our players seemed to be a bit scared – we have plenty of Swiss-Germans in our side who are always a bit emotional when we play against Germany. We did better towards the end of the first half, but then we cracked physically in the second half.
Fortunately, we managed to take our one chance, so that's positive. Our goalkeeper made a great save from the penalty. I think in view of the second half, Germany deserved to get more out of this game. When you end a game against Germany with just ten men and you manage to draw with them, then that's a good result.
The performance up to half-time was excellent, and then we were there with our heads and our hearts, but it was more difficult with our legs.
Scotland 0-2 Portugal
Scot Gemmill, Scotland coach
The fact that we can play against such a good team and arguably lose the game due to a couple of mistakes is something. We would have been disappointed at the start to concede the goals but at the same time we knew we were coming up against a really good team and to limit their chances is a positive and, in the second half, to rattle them a little bit. There was a stage in the second half where we started to look as if we could get a goal. There's no doubt the boys are disappointed right now, but by the time we play our second game we'll be ready to go again.
We played a really top, top team today and our players have to deal with that, that's the reason we're here – for that experience. We've worked really hard to get here. They were nervous. We tried really hard to let that not happen, but it's only natural – it's such a big occasion.
Emilio Peixe, Portugal coach
We played well against a very good team who were physically strong and played with a lot of intensity. However, we completely deserved to win. We know all about Scotland and we know all about Switzerland and Germany. All three games are extremely difficult, but we're going to persevere with the same approach that we've had until now.
We could have been more consistent during the game, but, in general, I am satisfied with everything. First of all, our main concern is helping the players recover, then we'll do video analysis ready for the game against Germany and try to get across to the players what their main strengths are.
It was very tough today with the heat. It's true that in Portugal it's also very hot, but it's always very hard for any team to play in these conditions.
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