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Matchday three: what you need to know

Published: Thursday 24 July 2014, 17.26CET
UEFA.com looks ahead to the concluding group games with plenty at stake in all four games and Austria, Hungary and Serbia all needing wins to achieve their aims.
Matchday three: what you need to know
André Silva and Portugal are seeking more goals against Austria ©MLSZ
Published: Thursday 24 July 2014, 17.26CET

Matchday three: what you need to know

UEFA.com looks ahead to the concluding group games with plenty at stake in all four games and Austria, Hungary and Serbia all needing wins to achieve their aims.

Group A
Austria v Portugal
Both teams have six points having won their first two fixtures although Austria must win at the Puskás Akadémia Pancho Aréna to top the section as they trail on goal difference. "We're really happy [to be in the semi-finals] but there's still a lot we can gain from this tournament," said their forward Florian Grillitsch.

His team have put three goals past both Hungary and Israel, but Portugal were even more prolific, particularly in overcoming the hosts 6-1 on matchday two. "We play every game to win," said coach Hélio Sousa, who has lost forward Nuno Santos to a knee injury, with SL Benfica's Romario Balde called up to replace him. "Austria are a great team too; maybe other people don't believe that but we saw their games so we know. It will be a great match to watch and play in."

Israel v Hungary
The equation is equally simple for Hungary: win and finish third, earning a place in the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup; anything less and Israel will take the spoils. Having described the loss to Portugal as "an ignominous defeat, a real blow", Géza Mészöly wants to give the home supporters something to cheer. "We have to win," the coach said. "The World Cup would improve the players and help them develop."

Israel's Eli Ohana also recognises the importance of taking third place, saying: "This is an achievement Israel have never managed in this age group, so everyone is very excited. We know it's going to be a very difficult match because Hungary are in the same situation and the crowd will be with them. There are no favourites: if we make fewer mistakes, we'll win."

Group B
Germany v Ukraine
After snatching a draw against Serbia, Marcus Sorg's side will qualify for the last four with a point in Gyor, against opponents who also benefitted from a late goal last time out. "I expect Ukraine will sit deep, like Serbia did," said Sorg, who has replaced the injured Jeremy Dudziak (shoulder) with VfL Wolfsburg's Sebastian Stolze. "We have to cut out the silly mistakes and focus on playing our passing game."

Ukraine are level with their opponents on four points and, while a win would take them through, a draw would leave Oleksandr Petrakov's side vulnerable to a Serbia win. "I've seen both Germany's games; they played very well against Bulgaria, less so against Serbia," said Vyacheslav Tankovskiy, the match winner against Bulgaria. "We should play our trademark football: defend first and wait for a chance up front."

Serbia v Bulgaria
There is another winner-takes-all contest in Papa, the holders needing victory to have any chance to a top-two finish; their opponents will finish third and claim Group B's remaining World Cup place should they prevail. "Bulgaria are a very good team, and we started preparing as soon as the Germany game had finished," said Serbia coach Veljko Paunović, who is without suspended captain Nemanja Maksimović, scorer of two goals so far, while injured midfielder Veljko Simić (back) is replaced in the squad by Milan Jokić. "We'll have to improve a lot."

Those were also the noises from the Bulgaria camp. "It's frustrating to keep missing chances, because we've worked so hard on that, but there's a reason goalscorers are the most expensive players," said coach Aleksandar Dimitrov. "To go to the World Cup is a good goal in itself. We have to motivate the players to recover from the shock of the Ukraine loss."

Last updated: 24/07/14 17.39CET

http://www.uefa.com/under19/news/newsid=2127463.html#matchday+three+what+need+know

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