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Georgia beat Belgium to seal finals berth

Published: Wednesday 29 May 2013, 21.04CET
Second-half goals from Giorgi Pantsulaia and Guram Samushia steered Georgia to a 2-0 victory against Belgium and booked their place at July's final tournament in Lithuania.
by Berend Scholten
Georgia beat Belgium to seal finals berth
Georgia celebrate after a 2-0 defeat of Belgium ©David Catry
Published: Wednesday 29 May 2013, 21.04CET

Georgia beat Belgium to seal finals berth

Second-half goals from Giorgi Pantsulaia and Guram Samushia steered Georgia to a 2-0 victory against Belgium and booked their place at July's final tournament in Lithuania.

Georgia have become the third team alongside Turkey and hosts Lithuania to take their place at this summer's UEFA European Under-19 Championship following a 2-0 defeat of Belgium. 

Two points clear of their opponents at the Group 6 summit before the start of play, Georgia needed a win to be assured of top spot. Their future remained in doubt until Giorgi Pantsulaia lifted the tension 11 minutes after the restart with a sweetly struck 40-metre lob after Belgium goalkeeper Sven Dhoest had raced off his line. The 19-year-old then missed from the spot, but his blushes were spared when Guram Samushia arrowed in on 78 minutes. 

"We have given three excellent performances against strong opponents. I am very proud of my players. With this generation, we can expect a bright future," said coach Giorgi Tsetsadze, whose team drew 2-2 against England in Friday's elite round opener, on a day when Scotland and Belgium also shared the spoils in a 2-2 stalemate. 

Georgia strode to the top of the section by overwhelming Scotland 3-1 48 hours later, while England scored deep into added-time to salvage a 1-1 draw against Belgium. Noel Blake's team then made light work of Scotland in a 3-0 success on Wednesday but were unable to leapfrog frontrunners Georgia, who held their nerve against Belgium.

Last updated: 10/06/13 21.05CET

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