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The U21 group stage by numbers

Outstanding defensive records, group stage firsts, late goals galore, a prolific forward and experienced starting XIs. UEFA.com picks the best U21 group stage statistics.

The Netherlands have been prolific in the group stage
The Netherlands have been prolific in the group stage ©Getty Images

11 – There was a flurry of late goals, from the 80th minute onwards, in the group stage, starting in the opening game of the tournament when Harmeet Singh came off the bench to level for Norway against hosts Israel and finishing with Álvaro Vázquez's third for Spain against the Netherlands. Indeed, of the 11 (31.4%) late goals that were scored, six (17.1%) came either in the 90th minute or added time.

35 – This year's group stage goal tally fell three short of the record set in Germany in 2004. The 35 goals scored is the third highest in final tournament group stage history, one shy of the total scored in Slovakia in 2000 and is seven more than the fourth highest set in Denmark last time out.

70 – Álvaro Morata needed just 70 minutes to score three goals for Spain. The Real Madrid CF forward twice came off the bench to score late winners as La Rojita secured a semi-final berth with victories against Russia and Germany. Having played just 44 minutes as a substitute, Morata made a mark on his first start too, tapping in Spain's 26th-minute opener in their final Group B game against the Netherlands.

0 – For the first time at an eight-team finals, two teams left with zero points. England became the fourth team in the history of the tournament to pick up the dubious distinction after Turkey in 2000, Israel in 2007 and Finland in 2009 also lost all three games. Russia promptly became the fifth as they finished bottom of Group B.

3 – A victory for Spain means there will be three unbeaten semi-finalists for only the third time. Italy, England and Germany managed to avoid defeat in 2009 while the Netherlands, Belgium and England achieved the feat two years earlier. Only once in final tournament history have all four semi-finalists avoided defeat in the group stage – the Czech Republic, Spain, Italy and Slovakia in 2000.

Italy are undefeated so far in Israel
Italy are undefeated so far in Israel©AFP/Getty Images

8 – The Netherlands are the joint second-highest scorers in group stage history. Sweden lead the way having scored nine goals in 2009, while the Jong Oranje's total draws them level with Sweden (2004) and the Czech Republic in (2000).

2 – Norway's point against Italy on matchday three was enough to book only their second U21 semi-final place. Their previous appearance came in 1998 when they lost 1-0 to Spain in extra time but beat the Netherlands 2-0 in the third-place play-off.

889 – The number of minutes England managed without conceding in nine pre-tournament matches until their defence was breached by Lorenzo Insigne's strike for Italy with just 11 minutes remaining in their opening game. They then went on to concede on four more occasions in their remaining two matches.

Netherlands' midfielder Kevin Strootman
Netherlands' midfielder Kevin Strootman©Sportsfile

56 – The Netherlands kept the same starting XI for their first two games and it was a lineup that boasted 56 senior international caps between them. That is just one more than Norway had in their team for the final Group A match against Italy. Tor Ole Skullerud made nine changes for that contest but could call on the likes of Markus Henriksen, Valon Berisha, Joshua King and Håvard Nordtveit, who joined the squad for matchday two after a FIFA World Cup qualifier against Albania in Tirana.

37 – Norway midfielder Singh has played 37 games for his country at U21 level, more than any other player at the final tournament. Italy's Luca Marrone is the second most experienced player with 31 caps, closely followed Dutch midfielder Leroy Fer on 30.