The Netherlands and the Czech Republic claimed the two places in the UEFA European Under-19 Championship Elite round on offer from Group 10 at the expense of Malta and Cyprus.
The top two started as they meant to go on when they both won on Matchday 1. Marten de Roon's 62nd-minute effort gave the Netherlands three points against hosts Malta at the Centenary Stadium in Ta'Qali. The Czechs, meanwhile, needed goals in the final 12 minutes from Jiri Skalak and Zbynek Musiol to see off Cyprus at the same venue after Achilleas Vasiliou had cancelled out Musiol's 56th-minute opener with 15 minutes remaining.
Progress was assured by emphatic victories in the second round of games, Rajiv van La Parra, Leandro Bacuna, Geoffrey Castillion, Lorenzo Burnet and Charlton Vicento giving the Netherlands a 5-1 success against Cyprus, whose sole response was an Imad Najah own goal four minutes from time. The Czechs brushed aside Malta 4-0, Petr Putz scoring two goals with Ladislav Krejci and Zdeněk Folprecht getting one each, all in the first 35 minutes, to ensure the top two went into their final game level on six points.
In the event it was Wim van Zwam's Dutch team who came out on top at the Hibernians Ground, a single goal from Lorenzo Ebecilio four minutes before half-time proving enough to send the Jong Oranje into December's Elite round draw as group winners. Cyprus and Malta ended all-square, Markos Michail cancelling out Clifford Gauci's 64th-minute effort for the hosts with two minutes left to ensure both finished on one point.
'Very good job'
"Of course we're very satisfied with our performance and with maximum points," Van Zwam told uefa.com. "Beating the Czechs meant we achieved our objective, and we're still unbeaten this season, so we want to stay this way. We've done a good job." His Czech counterpart Jaroslav Hrebík added: "We've qualified for the next round, which was our main priority. Overall I'm happy but we have to do better."
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