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Greece and Bulgaria emerge from Group 6

Greece left it late to salvage a 3-3 draw with Slovakia on Sunday and take their place alongside Bulgaria – held 1-1 by Albania – in the UEFA European Under-19 Championship elite round.

Greece pipped Bulgaria to top spot on the final day
Greece pipped Bulgaria to top spot on the final day ©Przemyslaw Szyszka

Greece and Bulgaria will feature in the UEFA European Under-19 Championship elite round after both teams emerged from qualifying Group 6.

The mini-tournament kicked off in Bulgaria on Tuesday with Reyan Daskalov and Kiril Despodov registering either side of Matúš Bero's spot-kick as the hosts consigned Slovakia to a 2-1 defeat. Greece, meanwhile, were given a stern examination of their credentials, eventually prevailing 1-0 against Albania courtesy of Dimitris Popovic's 86th-minute winner.

The early group pacesetters subsequently drew 1-1 two days later, Kiril Despodov wiping out Anastasios Donis's opener on the stroke of half-time. The match between Albania and Slovakia ended with the same scoreline, Ardit Prendi equalising in added time for Fotaq Strakosha's men.

There was more drama to come on Sunday, however. Bero's second-half hat-trick had steered Slovakia, who needed a win to claim a top-two berth, into a commanding 3-1 lead against Greece. Donis then reduced the deficit before Epameinondas Pantelakis snatched a precious draw in the final minute. The result lifted Theodoros Pachatouridis's side to the group summit by virtue of their superior goals scored column, as Bulgaria – held 1-1 by Albania – finished second.

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