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Germany's Dadashov breaks Belgium resolve

Germany 1-0 Belgium
Renat Dadashov, of Azerbaijani extraction, scored the only goal of a tight game in Baku, setting up a semi-final against Spain or England.

Highlights: Germany 1-0 Belgium
  • Germany join Portugal in the semi-finals after defeating stubborn Belgium side
  • Renat Dadashov scores only goal six minutes into the second half at Dalga Arena
  • The physical No9 bends a shot beyond the dive of Mile Svilar
  • Belgium find the going tough, having only one effort on target
  • Germany will face Spain or England on Wednesday for a place in the final

A piece of brilliance from Renat Dadashov pierced Belgium's guard and sent Germany through to the last four of the 2016 UEFA European Under-17 Championship.

Germany were dominating without making much headway in front of goal when the Leipzig forward, keen to impress in the country of his parents' birth, engineered a modicum of space for himself. In a central position just outside the penalty area, he curled a right-foot shot into Mile Svilar's top left-hand corner.

Hungry Germany
The pattern was set early on – Meikel Schönweitz's charges asserting their game plan, Belgium trying to break. The Red Devils seldom made many territorial gains, however. Germany's energy, strength and will to retrieve possession meant, more often than not, they won the ball back quickly.

Mile Svilar closes in as Renat Dadashov shoots
Mile Svilar closes in as Renat Dadashov shoots©Sportsfile

Resolute Belgium
Belgium did not concede a goal in the elite round and only shipped one during the group stage, in the draw with Azerbaijan. For all of Germany's mastery of the football in the first half, Svilar did not have a significant save to make. You got the sense it would take something special from Germany to break the deadlock – and so it proved.

Two in two
Dadashov's goal was his second of the finals, his first of the tournament only arrived in added time against Austria. Until that point his attacking team-mates, Yari Otto in particular, had been making all of the headlines. Not anymore.

Upward curve
Germany have slowly moved through the gears since they drew 2-2 with Ukraine on matchday one, when they were twice behind. Their perseverance was rewarded late on against ten-man Bosnia and Herzegovina, they made short work of Austria here three days ago and are now into the semi-finals after passing another test of their patience.

Meikel Schönweitz, Germany coach
It was a tough game against a good side. We played well and we're happy to be in the semi-finals. We knew how Belgium would play and they knew how we would play, so there weren't many chances in the first half.

Thierry Siquet, Belgium coach
Germany were stronger than us. My players also looked a bit tired in what was the fourth game with the same team, save for one or two changes. It was difficult against a physical Germany side.