2022 Under-17 EURO final preview: France vs Netherlands
Sunday, May 29, 2022
France and the Netherlands will contest Wednesday's final in Netanya after both progressed via penalty shoot-outs in the last four.
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France will set out to win the UEFA European Under-17 Championship title for a third time while the Netherlands have their sights on a hat-trick of continental crowns when the pair meet at the Netanya Stadium in Wednesday's final.
The road to the final times CEST
Germany 1-1 France (3-4 pens)
Netherlands 2-1 Italy
Spain 1-2 Portugal
Denmark 1-2 Serbia
France 2-2 Portugal (6-5 pens)
Netherlands 2-2 Serbia (5-3 pens)
Final (1 June)
France vs Netherlands (Netanya, 18:00)
Previous U17 best: Winners 2004, 2015
Qualifying round: Group 8 runners-up (W3-0 vs Moldova, D1-1 vs Cyprus, L0-1 vs Greece)
Elite round: Group 5 winners (W2-0 vs Luxembourg, W3-1 vs England)
Top scorers: Désiré Doué, Mathys Tel (2)
Final tournament group stage: Group B runners-up (W6-1 vs Poland, W4-0 vs Bulgaria, L1-3 vs Netherlands)
Quarter-finals: W4-3 pens vs Germany (1-1)
Semi-finals: W6-5 pens vs Portugal (2-2)
Scorers: Mathys Tel (3), Désiré Doué, Zoumana Diallo, Warren Zaire Emery (2), Naim Byar, Axel Gueguin, Ayman Aiki, Tom Saettel (1)
How did they get here? José Alcocer's team raced out of the blocks with ten goals in their opening two games. A much-changed side also went in front against the Netherlands in their final group match before being overhauled by their final rivals in the closing stages to end Group B as runners-up.
France's race looked to be run after they missed their first two penalties in the quarter-final shoot-out against Germany, only for a dramatic turnaround to edge them into the semi-finals. There was more drama in the last four as they came through another shoot-out against Portugal to reach a first final since winning the competition in 2015.
Previous U17 best: Winners 2011, 2012, 2018, 2019
Qualifying round: Bye
Elite round: Group 1 winners (W2-0 vs Hungary, D1-1 vs Slovakia, D0-0 vs Greece)
Top scorer: Isaac Babadi (2)
Final tournament group stage: Group B winners (W3-1 vs Bulgaria, W2-1 vs Poland, W3-1 vs France)
Quarter-finals: W2-1 vs Italy
Semi-finals: W5-3 pens vs Serbia (2-2)
Scorers: Jason van Duiven (3), Dean Huijsen, Yoram Boerhout, Gabriel Misehouy (2), Isaac Babadi, Antoni Milambo, Jaden Slory (1)
How did they get here? After bouncing back from conceding an early goal against Bulgaria and then needing an added-time winner from Yoram Boerhout against Poland, Mischa Visser's side – much changed from Matchday 2 – again fell behind early to France. However, they then pulled clear with three goals in the last 14 minutes and will hope that proves a positive omen for Wednesday's final.
Through to the knockout stage as Group B winners, the holders learned their lesson and jumped into an unassailable two-goal lead to see off Italy in the last eight. But they were tested to the full by Serbia in the semi-finals, Jaden Slory equalising in a 2-2 draw before centre-back Dean Huijsen converted his third penalty of the finals in a shoot-out victory.
France: Olmeta; Kumbedi, Sarr, Bitshiabu, Belocian; Atangana, Zaire Emery; Byar, Doué, Saettel; Tel
Netherlands: Kuijsten; Rovers, Blokzijl, Huijsen, Breinburg; Vos, Misehouy, Milambo; Slory, Van Duiven, Babadi
View from the camps
José Alcocer, France coach: "The idea for us is always play to our strengths. We have the qualities to score goals, so we try to do that. We have great attacking potential; a lot of players can score goals. We'll try to cause them problems, but we know they're also very determined. They have collective strength, and are very strong mentally. It'll be two great teams, and we'll try and play to score goals."
Mathys Tel, France captain: "We're talking the pressure positively. The Netherlands are a very good team. They've won the EURO, but we're here to take their place. We want to play as well as possible, we've worked on how to do that, and we're going to try and win."
Mischa Visser, Netherlands coach: "The team's mental strength is unbelievable, it's one of the things we're most proud of. They perform so well under stress. You might imagine that if the opposition go 1-0 up, there would be more stress to deal with, but our players look like they don't have stress."
Mike Kleijn, Netherlands captain: "I don't think we have more pressure as the defending champions, but we have to perform well to win it for a third time. Both teams have a lot of qualities, but if we do our thing we have a big chance to win it."