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Portugal see off Netherlands in semi-finals

Portugal 2-0 Netherlands
Portugal reached their second U17 final, 13 years on from winning as hosts, after Diogo Dalot added to José Gomes's seventh in Baku.

Watch the goals that took Portugal into their second final as they overcame the Netherlands 2-0 in Baku.
Highlights: See how Portugal reached the final
  • Portugal book their place in Saturday's final by defeating the Netherlands
  • José Gomes scores his seventh goal of the 2016 final tournament
  • Portugal are through to their second U17 final and first since winning in 2003
  • A squad featuring João Moutinho and Miguel Veloso triumphed as hosts that year
  • Right-back Diogo Dalot doubles the lead shortly before the hour

Goals from José Gomes and Diogo Dalot propelled Portugal into Saturday's UEFA European Under-17 Championship final, where they will meet Germany or Spain.

The Netherlands were matching Hélio Sousa's side stride for stride in the early stages – indeed, for the first time in the tournament Portugal started on the back foot – until the predatory Gomes did what he does best, heading in a flat free-kick from the right by left-back Rúben Vinagre.

Gomes demonstrated there is more to his game than just scoring goals. Sixteen minutes into the second half, the No9 found Dalot with a searching diagonal pass. The right-back controlled it, tricked his way past Tyrell Malacia and drilled a shot under Mike Van De Meulenhof.

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Attacking arsenal
Minus the suspended Dylan Vente, their leading marksman in qualifying, the Netherlands came into this contest having only scored four goals in as many matches in Baku. Portugal, in contrast had plundered 12, a total shaped by two 5-0 wins. It was that greater firepower which proved decisive.

Him again: José Gomes
The Benfica forward has registered on all four of his starts in Azerbaijan, accumulating seven goals in total. Gomes – rested for all but a few minutes of the goalless draw with Belgium on matchday three – is a natural-born finisher, a player who comes alive in the box. Five of his seven have been headers and he is now one away from equalling the eight-goal record for a U17 finals, set by France's Odsonne Edouard in 2015.

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Thrifty Portugal
Portugal have not conceded a goal in Azerbaijan and, in a sign of their strength and dominance, have seldom looked like doing so. This is their fifth clean sheet in succession and the seventh in their last eight outings in this competition, a run stretching back to the beginning of their elite round campaign.

Reaction
Hélio Sousa, Portugal coach
We'll approach the final with pleasure – it will be a unique experience for my players. We believe we can win every game. We have demonstrated that and we're here because we deserve it.

Kees van Wonderen, Netherlands coach
We did well at the start, in the first ten minutes, but after that I must compliment Portugal. They have a very good squad and are well organised. We did everything we could, but Portugal deserved to win. The best team won.

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