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The 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship comprises a qualifying group stage and play-off round to determine which seven teams join hosts Israel in the final tournament.
Qualifying group stage
Teams are split into ten groups – two of six teams and eight of five – and play each other on a home and away basis. The ten group winners and four runners-up with the best record against the teams first, third, fourth and fifth in their sections advance to the play-offs.
Play-off matches are played according to the knockout system, with each team playing each opponent home and away. The team which scores the greater aggregate of goals qualifies for the next round, with away goals, extra time and then penalties used to determine the winner in the event of a draw.
The final tournament comprises the seven play-off winners and Israel, who qualify automatically as hosts. The eight teams are split into two groups of four. Each team plays each other once in their group with the winners and runners-up advancing to the semi-finals where the winner of Group A plays the Group B runner-up and vice-versa. The winners advance to the final.
Further details, including the criteria for separating teams that finish level on points in a group, can be found in the official competition regulations.
Serravale's Stadio Olimpico witnessed history as San Marino earned their first-ever point on home soil in UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying thanks to an outstanding goalkeeping performance from Mattia Manzaroli.
The hosts conceded 30 goals in their previous seven Group 1 games, but showed remarkable fortitude to keep Greece at bay. Attack after attack was repelled, and the onslaught started early as Stelios Vasiliou tried his luck in the fourth minute from a tight angle. Manzaroli set the tone for the evening, however, turning the effort wide with a great stop.
Vasiliou was denied twice more in quick succession before he did manage to put the ball in the net – only for it to be ruled out for a foul. At the other end, Enrico Golinucci went close with an audacious 45-metre effort.
Greece continued their siege in the second period and Manzaroli once again pulled off a remarkable save to deny Aris Soiledis, whose free-kick was destined for the top corner.
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