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Poland pip Belgium to top spot in Group 13

"I think we deservedly won top spot in the group," Poland coach Robert Wojcik told UEFA.com after beating Belgium to Group 13 first place as both reached the elite round.

Poland celebrate scoring against Bulgaria
Poland celebrate scoring against Bulgaria ©Viasport.bg

Belgium and Poland came through from UEFA European Under-17 Championship qualifying round Group 13 in Skopje.

Wins on the opening two days against Bulgaria and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia ensured Belgium and Poland's progress to the elite round even before their meeting on Tuesday. Poland wrapped up top spot in the section courtesy of a 2-0 victory against Patrick Klinkenberg's side.

"We played three good games at this tournament and I think we deservedly won top spot in the group," Poland coach Robert Wojcik told UEFA.com. "Our job here has now been completed and now we are concentrating on being even better prepared for the elite round."

Klinkenberg  aid: "It was a very interesting tournament with four teams at the same level. As for my team, I saw a very positive attitude, but also something lacking in our play that we need to correct before our participation in the elite round. However, ahead of us are four months of preparation and we will work very hard with the aim of reaching the final tournament."

On the opening day, hosts FYROM led Poland 2-0 early in the second half after goals from Sabahudin Alomeroviс and Strahinja Krstevski. However, Miłosz Kozak swiftly pulled one back from distance and Artur Siemaszko came off the bench to score twice in the last seven minutes to give Poland a 3-2 win. Belgium had seen off Bulgaria 2-0 courtesy of Matthias Verreth and a superb solo effort from substitute Nany Dimata.

Two days later Belgium eased to a 5-0 defeat of FYROM, 15-year-old Verreth again among the scorers after the home side had lost Darko Digalovski to a second yellow card in the 23rd minute, when his team were only one down. Poland once more proved strong finishers, Filip Jagiełło, Siemaszko – again as a substitute – and their star man Oktawian Skrzecz scoring in the last 20 minutes to beat Bulgaria 3-0.

Robert Wojcik's charges got the job done far earlier on the final day, an own goal from Belgium captain Arno Vershueren and Adam Ryczkowski's second-half header from a Skrzecz corner enough to maintain their perfect record. FYROM, meanwhile, concluded their campaign with a 2-1 triumph over Bulgaria.