The Netherlands are through to their third UEFA European Under-17 Championship final since 2005 after Kyle Ebecilio's goal ended the reign of holders England.
Athletic midfielder Ebecilio struck on 26 minutes as the Netherlands stretched their run of clean sheets to six games. Having lost in the 2005 and 2009 showpieces, the Oranje will meet the winners of this afternoon's Denmark against Germany semi-final here in Novi Sad on Sunday morning.
Group B winners the Netherlands restored all seven rested players from their 0-0 draw with the Czech Republic on Monday while a knee injury ruled out England midfielder Nick Powell; captain Nathaniel Chalobah was pushed forward from defence, Adam Jackson slotting in at centre-back. It was on their left that England were troubled early on, Memphis Depay putting in a cross headed over by Anass Achahbar, who then just failed to get a foot to Daan Disveld's centre.
England soon tightened up on that flank but while they were 3-0 up by the midway point of the first half against hosts Serbia on Monday, they had not had a clear chance by that time today. They fell behind to a player from Arsenal FC, Ebecilio surging through the holders' defence to beat Jordan Pickford. Breaching the Netherlands rearguard was now a necessity for England and Jake Caskey, whose father Darren scored the goal to win the 1993 European U18 title, came close from distance.
Ebecilio had the first chance of the second half, a strong low shot straight at Pickford, but England were having no joy and manager John Peacock sent on forward Adam Morgan and winger Nathan Redmond, pushing Chalobah back into defence. Redmond, a lively presence on the right, looped an effort just over the bar on 55 minutes.
They were even closer a couple of minutes later, Morgan's free-kick curling into the side netting beyond the reach of group stage top scorer Hallam Hope. At the other end, Ebecilio was not far off from substitute Danzell Gravenburch's cut-back. Pickford also had to be alert to prevent a Samuel Magri own goal, and indeed Netherlands keeper Boy de Jong was seldom troubled in the closing stages.
At the end a worthily exhausted Ebecilio rolled a shot narrowly past the post but victory was sealed. England can now look forward to their second FIFA U-17 World Cup appearance in Mexico from 18 June.
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