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Georgia take Group 11, Wales edge out Dutch

Georgia beat the Netherlands on matchday three to top Group 11 and seal progress to the elite round alongside Wales, who claimed a big final-day win to pip the Dutch.

Vasil Maisuradze guided his Georgia side to the elite round
Vasil Maisuradze guided his Georgia side to the elite round ©Badri Ketiladze

Georgia defeated the Netherlands on the final day in qualifying Group 11 to ensure they advanced to the UEFA European Under-19 Championship elite round as section winners, while Wales progressed alongside them after pipping the Dutch to second spot.

Going into matchday three, Georgia led the way by two points from the Netherlands, but a victory for Wim van Zwam's men would have allowed the Jong Oranje to top the group. That appeared unlikely when Giorgi Papunashvili put Vasil Maisuradze's side ahead after ten minutes, but Richairo Zivkovic levelled matters in first-half added time. However, Giorgi Aburjania's subsequent goal clinched a third win from three for Georgia to leave the Dutch vulnerable in the section. Wales took full advantage by thrashing Moldova 6-0 to match the Netherlands' points tally, ultimately wresting second spot on goals scored.

Qualification had seemed a long way off for Geraint Williams's team after an opening 5-1 loss to mini-tournament hosts Georgia, with Davit Jikia registering twice in the success. Zivkovic, Elton Acolatse and Rai Vloet were on target for the Netherlands as they began with a 3-0 win against Moldova, yet they hit a stumbling block on matchday two when held 0-0 by the Welsh. That gave Georgia the chance to move in front in the group, and goals from Aburjania and Luka Kikabidze helped them defeat Moldova 2-0 to set up for their final-day heroics.