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Dutch beat Belgium to set up Ireland semi

Netherlands 1-0 Belgium
The Dutch will face the Republic of Ireland in the last four after beating their neighbours thanks to Inessa Kaagman's 41st-minute goal.

Inessa Kaagman opened the scoring for the Netherlands
Inessa Kaagman opened the scoring for the Netherlands ©Sportsfile

The Netherlands will face the Republic of Ireland in the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship semi-finals after slipping to second in Group A despite a 1-0 victory against bottom-placed Belgium.

Kaagman scores only goal on 41 minutes in Mjondalen
Koolhof's team finish group stage with seven points
Dutch miss out on top spot on goal difference
Belgium have Vanhamel sent off and finish point-less
Semi-finals: Norway v Spain; Ireland v Netherlands

Belgium's hopes of progressing were over before kick-off, but they nevertheless did a good job of frustrating their opponents until four minutes prior to the interval. Inessa Kaagman did the damage via a splendid free-kick from just outside the penalty area.

Andre Koolhof's charges gained a measure of control after the break but still struggled to break down a stubborn Belgian defensive line. The Red Flames' hopes of an equaliser looked to have been all but extinguished with six minutes left when Britt Vanhamel was shown a second yellow card. Though they subsequently went close through Isabelle Iliano, Dutch goalkeeper Jennifer Vreugdenhill stood firm.

The Netherlands started the day at the section summit but drop to second following hosts Norway's emphatic 5-0 victory against Scotland. That means they take on Group B winners Ireland in Thursday's semi-finals.

André Koolhof, Netherlands coach
When you play matches in these conditions you have to know how to preserve energy. This is the age that you should be learning how to play just to get a result. Our plan was not to play as attacking as we normally do but, I mean, we're talking about young, enthusiastic girls who are used of attacking so just try to slow them down! We did not allow them as many chances as we did our opponents in the first two matches, but nor did we create much. We will have to improve on that.

Kristiaan Van Der Haegen, Belgium coach
Playing in this tournament was a real adventure for us as it was really difficult to anticipate just how good the opposition at would be. We didn't know what the standard of this tournament would be and how we were going to cope. I think we did a good job as we were able to provide proper opposition in all matches. Today we gave the Netherlands a hard time. We were good tactically and put in a lot of effort until the end. Apart from the result I'm a very proud coach.

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