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2022 UEFA U17 EURO semi-final preview: Netherlands vs Serbia

The holders take on the 2022 tournament's surprise packages in Sunday's second semi-final in Netanya.

The Netherlands have a 100% record going into their 2022 UEFA U17 EURO semi-final against Serbia in Netanya
The Netherlands have a 100% record going into their 2022 UEFA U17 EURO semi-final against Serbia in Netanya

The Netherlands have won the last two UEFA U17 EURO — first-time semi-finalists Serbia stand in their way at the Netanya Stadium in Israel on Sunday.

UEFA U17 EURO semi-finals at a glance

When: Sunday 29 May
France vs Portugal 16:30 CEST
Netherlands vs Serbia 20:00 CEST
Where: Netanya Stadium, Netanya, Israel
Where to watch: UEFA.tv

Final: Wednesday, 1 June, Netanya Stadium

Netherlands (holders)

Previous U17 best: Winners x 4 (2011, 2012, 2018, 2019)
Group stage: Group B winners (W3-1 vs Bulgaria, W2-1 vs Poland, W3-1 vs France)
Quarter-finals: W2-1 vs Italy
Scorers: Dean Huijsen, Yoram Boerhout, Gabriel Misehouy, Jason van Duiven (2), Isaac Babadi, Antoni Milambo (1)

Highlights: Dutch delight as Italy are beaten

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 before pulling clear with three goals in the last 14 minutes. They learned their lesson and jumped into an unassailable two-goal lead to see off Italy in the last eight. If their semi-final goes to a shoot-out, look out for cool-headed centre-back Dean Huijsen, who has already converted two penalties.

Key player: Gabriel Misehouy
The Ajax midfielder provides attacking impetus from the centre of the pitch. Driving forward with the ball at his feet or taking up dangerous positions after he has spread it wide to either flank, he can provide an end-product to his expertly constructed approach play.

2022 U17 EURO top scorers


Previous U17 best: Quarter-finals (2002, as Yugoslavia)
Group stage: Group C runners-up (D1-1 vs Belgium, W2-1 vs Turkey, D1-1 vs Spain) Quarter-finals: W2-1 vs Denmark
Scorers: Jovan Milošević (4), Jan-Carlo Simić, Jovan Šljivić (1)

Highlights: Serbia stun Denmark to reach semis

How did they get here? Radovan Krivokapić's side have specialised in late drama in Israel. Jovan Milošević hit 88th-minute penalties in the Matchday 1 draw with Belgium and, crucially, the 1-1 with Spain on Matchday 3 to take his team into the last eight for the first time as an independent nation. He also scored the decisive goal in the 2-1 defeat of Turkey and quarter-final against Denmark – needless to say, the Vojvodina forward is one to watch.

Key player: Aleksandar Stanković
The son of 2009/10 UEFA Champions League winner Dejan, Aleksandar has every chance of making a first name for himself. His set-piece delivery is a menace to any opponent, while his blend of finesse and fight in midfield contributes so much to his team's performance and makes it clear why he wears the captain's armband.

Possible line-ups

Serbia forward Jovan Milošević comes into the last four as the final tournament's joint-leading scorer
Serbia forward Jovan Milošević comes into the last four as the final tournament's joint-leading scorer

Netherlands: Kuijsten; Rovers, Blokzijl, Huijsen, Breinburg; Vos, Misehouy, Milambo; Slory, Van Duiven, Babadi (c)

Serbia: Lijeskić; Simić, Majstorović, Serafimović, Bukinac; Đekić, Stanković (c), Džodić, Šljivić; Bubanj, Milošević

Where to watch the games: TV/streams

View from the camps

Mischa Visser, Netherlands coach, speaking to UEFA.com: "Every game, we've shown the best version of ourselves. Against Italy, it was the very best game of the whole season so far. We are making very good steps every game. I'm not surprised about Serbia's performances. They have a very strong team, fighting for everything, and individually they're very talented. I can imagine a lot of people are surprised Serbia are into the semis, but I'm not."

Radovan Krivokapić, Serbia coach, speaking to UEFA.com: "They Netherlands are a big team with very good quality. They have a lot of good players, especially going forward. On both sides of the pitch, they're very quick, the movement is good. Their number 10 is good on the ball and with the final pass. They have strong running midfielders and want to play it out from the back. We'll try, we'll never give up, and give everything we have. Perhaps the Netherlands are favourites, but we'll see at the final whistle."