Holders Spain will take on hosts Lithuania, the Netherlands and Portugal in the 12th UEFA European Under-19 Championship after the draw was made in Kaunas today.
Spain have lifted the trophy six times in the past 11 seasons – including the last two – and will seek an unprecedented hat-trick of titles in Lithuania this summer. To do so they will have to overcome the Netherlands, whose only previous finals appearance came three years ago, Iberian neighbours Portugal – at this stage for the third time in four years – and Lithuania, who make their finals debut on home soil. On the opening day, 20 July, Lithuania will play the Netherlands while Spain face Portugal.
Group B also features a side in their first tournament, Georgia having qualified at the expense of Scotland, England and Belgium. Their reward is to be pitted against France, champions both in 2005 and on home soil five years later, 2004 runners-up Turkey and Serbia. The full schedule will be confirmed in the coming days, with group games on 20, 23 and 26 July, the semi-finals three days later and the final on 1 August.
Julius Kvedaras, president of the Lithuanian Football Federation (LFF), had welcomed guests to Kaunas. "I would like to wish every team success at this tournament," he said. "I hope for good luck for the coaches, good goals for the players and for everybody a good atmosphere and great games."
The draw was conducted by Jim Boyce, chairman of the UEFA Youth and Amateur Football Committee, and tournament ambassadors Vaida Česnauskienė and Marius Stankevičius.
Group A: Lithuania (hosts), Netherlands, Spain (holders), Portugal
Group B: Serbia, Turkey, Georgia, France
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