Albert Stuivenberg has led the Netherlands to their fourth UEFA European Under-17 Championship finals in his five-year reign after Jean-Paul Boëtius earned victory against Portugal.
Knowing a win would ensure the hosts top spot in elite round Group 2 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands took 37 minutes to break the deadlock before Anass Achahbar hit the post and Feyenoord team-mate Boëtius turned in the rebound. It completed a happy week for Stuivenberg, whose son was born a couple of days ago, and who can now begin planning for the finals in Serbia from 3 to 15 May after the draw is made next Tuesday in Belgrade.
Portugal still had a slim chance of qualifying themselves at kick-off but the Netherlands were on top from the start, albeit showing understandable nerves. Once they had the lead they remained on top and if they could not force a second goal, they held firm at the back to prevent the equaliser that would have allowed group rivals Croatia to overtake them.
Stuivenberg said: "This is a great result. I pay the lads a big compliment. This was not our best game, we struggled to maintain control, but in the end I thought we did OK. We weee the best team this week."
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