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UEFA Youth League quarter-finals: AZ, Hajduk, Sporting, Milan reach Nyon semis

AZ Alkmaar, Sporting CP, Hajduk Split and AC Milan are all into the UEFA Youth League finals for the first time.

AZ celebrate victory against Real Madrid
AZ celebrate victory against Real Madrid ANP via Getty Images

AZ Alkmaar knocked out the last remaining former UEFA Youth League champions Real Madrid to set up a semi-final with Sporting CP while Hajduk Split ousted Borussia Dortmund in an epic penalty shoot-out to earn a tie with AC Milan.

With Milan defeating Atlético on Tuesday after Sporting beat Liverpool, and AZ eliminating Madrid before Hajduk's win, all four teams in April's UEFA Youth League finals will be there for the first time. Madrid's exit also ensures the seventh different winners in the competition's nine editions.

Knockout bracket


Tuesday 14 March
Sporting CP 1-0 Liverpool
AC Milan 2-0 Atlético
Wednesday 15 March
AZ Alkmaar 4-0 Real Madrid
Borussia Dortmund 1-1 Hajduk Split (8-9 pens)

Semi-finals (21 April, Nyon):

Sporting CP vs AZ Alkmaar
Hajduk Split vs AC Milan

Final (24 April, Nyon):

Sporting / AZ vs Hajduk / Milan

Watch live streams and highlights on UEFA.tv

Youth League quarter-final ties

Wednesday 15 March

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AZ are only the second Dutch semi-finalists, following Ajax in 2019/20, after spectacularly ending the hopes of that season's winners who were in a record seventh quarter-final.

The home side led on 25 minutes when Daniel Beukers, on the ground, hooked in a loose ball following a corner. Just four minutes later Ernest Poku collected Jayden Addai's diagonal pass on halfway, advanced into the box and doubled the lead.

With 12 minutes to go, AZ captain Mexx Meerdink pounced for his seventh goal of the campaign after Madrid goalkeeper Diego Piñeiro could only parry Fedde de Jong's effort. Beukers added another late on after breaking free on the left, cutting in and smashing in an angled shot. AZ are the fourth side to reach the finals from the domestic champions path after Anderlecht in 2015/16, eventual champions Salzburg in 2016/17 and Chelsea in 2018/19.

Highlights: AZ Alkmaar 4-0 Real Madrid
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A year minus a day on from losing 1-0 to Atlético at this stage at BVB Stadion Dortmund, a 16,000 crowd at the same arena watched the home side eliminated again after an epic penalty shoot-out. Eight kicks each were scored before Filippo Mane's effort was saved by Borna Buljan and Ante Kavelj converted to produce Croatia's first UEFA football club semi-finalists since Hajduk's seniors in the 1983/84 UEFA Cup.

In a game with chances at both ends, 18 minutes remained when Mate Antunović met Roko Brajković's cross with a thumping header to send the sizeable Hajduk support into raptures. But just three minutes later Tomislav Arković brought down Dortmund substitute Michel Ludwig in the Hajduk box and Julian Rijkhoff levelled from the spot. More penalties were needed after Ludwig hit the underside of his own team's crossbar in added time.

Highlights: Borussia Dortmund 1-1 Hajduk Split (8-9 pens)

Tuesday 14 March

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Sporting are into the finals for the first time, thanks to a goal by Rodrigo Ribeiro in front of several senior players as well as Portugal's new coach Roberto Martínez. There was an early blow to Liverpool with key man Ben Doak forced off early by a head injury but the game remained tight.

However, on 65 minutes Sporting made the decisive breakthrough as Rodrigo Ribeiro excellently controlled David Monteiro's long pass and produced a confident finish for his sixth goal of the campaign. Liverpool had their moments but for the third time they have fallen just short in the quarter-finals.

Highlights: Sporting 1-0 Liverpool
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Milan had never made the quarter-finals before this season but are now into the last four. The Italian side were knocked out in the 2021/22 group stage by Atlético, who this season were in their fifth last-eight tie, but the Spanish team missed out on making the semis for the second year running and Adrian Niño's record run of scoring in seven consecutive Youth League games ended as he went off injured not long after Milan made it 2-0.

Dariusz Stalmach scored in the 12th minute, applying a finish to a cut-back by Adam Bakoune. Atlético, who reached their own first semi-final last season, had chances of their own but midway through the second half it was 2-0 as Gabriele El Hilali's angled shot hit the post then bounced in off visiting goalkeeper Alejandro Iturbe.

Highlights: Milan 2-0 Atlético