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Russia and Portugal ease through to elite round

Former UEFA European Under-17 Championship winners Portugal and Russia are through to the elite round at the expense of 2011 qualifiers Romania and Finland in Group 2.

Russia's Aleksei Kurzenev (right) scored the winner against Romania
Russia's Aleksei Kurzenev (right) scored the winner against Romania ©Evgeny Mokrousov/Sportarchiv

Former UEFA European Under-17 Championship winners Portugal and Russia are through to the elite round after dominating 2011 qualifying Group 2 at the expense of Romania and Finland.

Going into the last day of action in the qualifying round mini-tournament, hosts Portugal and Russia were three points ahead of their opponents and they finished the section six points clear of Romania and Finland after respective final-day successes.

Portugal and Russia were matched on the opening day and drew 1-1, Aleksandr Lomakin's opener for the 2006 champions in the second minute cancelled out by João Nunes on the hour for the team that took the trophy three years earlier. Romania, who made their U17 finals debut last season in Serbia, were two up against Finland within 18 minutes thanks to Alexandru Tarnovan and Florin Prodan but Youness Rahimi soon pulled one back and Joonas Jokinen earned a 2-2 draw in the second half.

A gap was opened up on matchday two, Russia beating Romania 1-0 after Aleksei Kurzenev struck in the opening seconds. Portugal overcame Finland 2-1, early goals from Luís Rafael and Tomás Podstawski enough despite Jerry Voutilainen coming off the bench to pull one back with five minutes to go.

The last day settled matters as Podstawski earned Portugal a 1-0 win against Romania, while Lomakin was twice on target in Russia's 3-1 defeat of Finland.