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.
Ukraine kept their UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying hopes alive with victory in Finland to snatch Group 2 third place in Lahti.
Finland had moved a point ahead of Ukraine last week as they drew 1-1 in Slovenia a day after Ukraine lost 1-0 in Lithuania. But goals from Roman Bezus and Pylyp Budkivskiy put Ukraine in control and although they were reduced to nine men and Joel Pohjanpalo pulled one back, the visitors held on and they are within five points of second-placed Sweden with three games left.
On top from the off, Ukraine hit the woodwork on six minutes through the impressive Vitaliy Kaverin, always a threat on the left, and although Finland had their chances, Bezus broke the deadlock late in the first half, slipping his shot past goalkeeper Walter Viitala. Ukraine lost Serhiy Lyulka to a second yellow card just after the hour mark but in the 70th minute Budkivskiy pounced on a misplaced Timi Lahti pass to Viitala to make it 2-0.
Substitute Pohjanpalo gave Finland hope with three minutes left from Tuomas Rannanka's cutback, but despite Vitaliy Vitsenets received a straight red card in added time, Ukraine clinched the points. Finland go to Sweden on Wednesday desperate for a win to keep their hopes alive while Ukraine next meet leaders Slovenia on 15 August.
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