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Spain and the Netherlands compete for top spot

Published: Monday 10 June 2013, 12.00CET
Spain and the Netherlands will compete for top spot in Group B when they meet in their final game, with Cor Pot's side only needing a draw owing to a superior goal difference.
Spain and the Netherlands compete for top spot
The Netherlands have had no shortage of support in Israel ©Getty Images

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Published: Monday 10 June 2013, 12.00CET

Spain and the Netherlands compete for top spot

Spain and the Netherlands will compete for top spot in Group B when they meet in their final game, with Cor Pot's side only needing a draw owing to a superior goal difference.

Spain and the Netherlands meet in their final Group B fixture with top spot in the section at stake after both sides sealed semi-finals berths last time out.

• Cor Pot's charges need just a point to win Group B courtesy of their superior goal difference, which was boosted by a 5-1 victory against Russia on Sunday. Spain can top the section if they beat the Dutch, Álvaro Morata having scored late to secure victory in each of their opening two fixtures.

• There has never been a draw in UEFA European Under-21 Championship matches between Spain and the Netherlands. The holders have the upper hand in the countries' competitive contests ahead of their 12th meeting at Ha Moshava in Petah Tikva.

Previous meetings
• Spain have won seven of the teams' 11 competitive meetings including four of the last five – although they traded home victories when the sides last met in qualifying for the 2011 finals.

• The first game in Rotterdam was won by the hosts thanks to goals from Erik Falkenburg (14) and Georginio Wijnaldum (63) despite César Azpilicueta pulling one back ten minutes from time. Diego Capel and captain Javi Martínez both hit the woodwork late on for a Spain side who had won their previous 14 group stage qualifiers stretching back to October 2005.

• The teams at the Sparta Stadium on 17 November 2009 were:
Netherlands: Krul, Janmaat, Van Eijden, Bruma, Pieters, Anita (Strootman 82), Fer, Falkenburg, Wijnaldum, De Jong (Dost, 82), J John.
Spain: Asenjo, Azpilicueta, Canella (Mérida 82), Botía, Laguardia, Javi Martínez, Alba (Míchel 52), Herrera (Omar 74), Adrían, Parejo, Capel.

• Spain turned the tables in the return thanks to goals from Sergio Canales (26) and Capel (54) either side of Bas Dost's 31st-minute strike in Alcoy. The visitors ended with ten men as Maikel Kieftenbeld was sent off with 12 minutes remaining, and Spain could even afford Bojan Krkić's missed penalty, awarded after Bram Nuytinck fouled Ander Herrera.

• The teams for that meeting – their most recent – at Estadio El Collao on 2 September 2010 were:
Spain: De Gea, Azpilicueta, Canella, Botía, Domínguez, Javi Martínez, Canales (Herrera 66), Pérez (Thiago 46), Bojan, Mata, Capel (Nsue 87).
Netherlands: Zoet, Blind (Kieftenbeld 69), Marcellis, Viergever, Van Aanholt, Toornstra (Roorda 70), Cabral, Gorter, Dost, De Jong, Goossens (Nuytinck 79).

• The Netherlands went on to finish first in qualifying Group 4, one place and two points above Spain, but lost on away goals to Ukraine in the play-offs. In contrast Spain overcame Croatia and subsequently won the title in Denmark.

• A sixth-minute Miguel Ángel Angulo goal proved enough to separate the sides in the 2000 group stage at the final tournament in Trnava, Slovakia. The result took Spain into a third-place play-off – where Slovakia were defeated 1-0 – at the expense of the Jong Oranje.

• Spain had also come out on top against the Dutch in qualifying for the 2000 finals, winning 1-0 away and 4-1 at home.

• The Netherlands had been victorious in the 1988 quarter-finals, winning the first leg 1-0 in Murcia before a 2-1 success in Utrecht. The Jong Oranje, however, were overwhelmed in the first leg of their semi-final against Greece, losing 5-0 in Athens and eventually 5-2 overall.

• Each side recorded a home victory in qualifying for the 1984 edition, the Dutch winning 5-0 in Utrecht but then going down 1-0 in Malaga. The latter result was enough for Spain to pip the Netherlands to first place in Group 7; the Iberian side went on to beat Poland and Yugoslavia before losing the final to England.

• Spain also progressed to the 1982 quarter-finals ahead of the Netherlands, against whom they recorded 2-0 away and 2-1 home wins en route to winning qualifying Group 8. This time they would go no further, losing to West Germany in the last eight.

Match background
• Spain are in the finals for the third successive edition. Two years ago they claimed a third European U21 crown with a 2-0 defeat of Switzerland in Aarhus, Denmark. Spain had previously triumphed in 1986 and 1998, while they were runners-up in 1984 and 1996 and third in 1994 and 2000. They failed to make it beyond the group stage in 2009, however, on what was their first finals appearance in nine years.

• The Netherlands are in the finals for the first time since 2007, when they claimed a second successive title on home soil with a 4-1 defeat of Serbia in Groningen. They had lifted the trophy for the first time with a 3-0 defeat of Ukraine in Portugal 12 months previously.

• The Jong Oranje's only previous appearances in the final tournament came in 1998, when they lost to Norway in the third-place play-off, and 2000, when they failed to survive the group stage. They were also semi-finalists in 1988 and reached the last eight four years later.

Team ties
• Nuytinck was in the RSC Anderlecht side beaten 3-0 at Málaga CF in the UEFA Champions League group stage on 3 October 2012. Isco and Ignacio Camacho both started for the visitors.

• Daley Blind and Ricardo van Rhijn's AFC Ajax lost 4-1 at Real Madrid CF in the UEFA Champions League group stage on 4 December, Nacho playing 90 minutes at the Santiago Bernabéu and Morata coming on as a late substitute.

• Van Rhijn twice faced David de Gea as Ajax lost 2-0 at home but won 2-1 away against Manchester United FC in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 in February 2012. Blind featured in Manchester.

Spain news
• The Spanish players held up the shirt of injured team-mate Canales after their victory against Germany. The Valencia CF midfielder has travelled home after being ruled out of the tournament with a hamstring injury.

• Morata has twice come off the substitutes' bench to score the winning goal for Spain. The Real Madrid CF forward has made a notable mark on the tournament having spent just 44 minutes on the pitch.

• England senior team manager Roy Hodgson watched the match between Germany and Spain in Netanya, while representatives from the Norway Under-21 side were also in attendance.

• Spain had a light training session on Monday with only the substitutes, including Morata, taking part. Assistant coach Santi Denia, Spain's most-capped player at U21 level, concluded the session by taking part in a six-a-side match.

• On Monday afternoon, the team visited the Spanish embassy in Tel Aviv.

Netherlands news
• Pot once again has a fully-fit squad to choose from. Wijnaldum came through Sunday's victory against Russia without any problems after picking up a back injury on matchday one.

• The players underwent a gentle recovery session on Monday morning before fulfilling certain duties at the team hotel and spending time with family.

• The day before the game consists of a team walk in the morning, prior to the pre-match press conference and training at the stadium.

• Despite having qualified for the last four, Pot confirmed that he would not be making any wholesale changes from the Russia game. However, he is expected to bring in some new faces.

Last updated: 10/06/13 18.01CET