Nazionale U19

Under 19 European Championship Elite phase round-up

A draw is enough for Italy against Georgia, with Spain and Norway playing for everything against Austria and Israel

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Under 19 European Championship Elite phase round-up

The final 90 minutes will be played today in the Under 19 European Championship Elite Phase, as the seven teams to fight for the European title, from 15 to 28 July, will be decided. From Malta, where in 2023 the Azzurrini triumphed over Portugal (1-0), the Final Phase moves to Northern Ireland, who will be the eighth team in the tournament, which this year is also used for qualification for the 2025 FIFA Under 20 World Cup in Chile (five places for the European Championships: the four semi-finalists plus the winner of the play-off between the third-placed teams).

Two teams (France and Turkey) have already qualified; Italy cannot celebrate just yet despite two wins in two game, with everything still to play for. In two groups, there are two leaders with maximum points who are facing each other in a head-to-haed clash, but for two others, however, the situation is still open for three teams. Let's take at look at the situation in seven groups:

In group 1 and group 3, there are still three teams in the running for first place: in the first group, the qualified team could come out of Austria (three) versus Spain (four), both forced to win (TŠC Trate Gornja - Radgona at 12:00 CET) because in the event of a draw they could be overtaken by Kosovo (three), who take on hosts, and bottom of the group, Slovenia (one). In the third group, hosts Norway are leading (four points, earned in the 90th minute of the second match against Bosnia) and seem to be favorites going into the last round of matches with Israel (three), at the Odd Stadion in Skien at 15:00 CET. A draw here, too, could give the green light to the surprise package, Montenegro, who end the group stages with Bosnia (one) and are still hoping to overtake at the last hurdle.

In groups 4 and 7, the pass to Northern Ireland is being fought by four teams that have so far won the first two matches and are joint top. In the 4th, Portugal face Denmark today at 16:00 CET at the Estádio Cidade de Coimbra, with the Danes forced to win due to a worse goal difference (+3/+4). Rodrigo Ribeiro and Vivaldo Semedo have stood out for the Portuguese (two goals for both in the two games of this Elite Phase). In Group 7, however, the big match is between Ukraine and Switzerland (Makedonija Gjorce Petrov - Skopje at 14:00 CET), who overcame Latvia and North Macedonia both still on zero points. Goal difference in this case is in Ukraine's favour, who can therefore count on two results out of a possible three.

However, groups 2 and 6 were done and dusted after two games: France beat Belgium (2-0) and the Netherlands (1-0) and in the last round of fixtures face Lithuania (zero points), so even in the event of an unforeseeable defeat they would have wins in the head-to-head in their favour, having already beaten their two main rivals. Le Bleus' star man in the opening two games was Bayern Munich striker, born in 2005, Mathis Tel, who has two in two games. More surprising is Turkey's early qualification in group 6: they beat Romania and Croatia, who are trailing by three points having both beaten the favourites, Germany, sensationally with no points. The Germans have paid for two unlucky moments: a missed penalty in the 90th minute (by the tournament's top scorer Pejcinovic, with 7 goals in 5 games) against the Croatians and conceding in the 94th minute, to lose 3-2, against the Romanians. Turkey, therefore, have six points and the positive record of the direct head-to-head games against their pursuers, so the final fixture against the Germans is irrelevant.



Group 1: Spain 4, Austria and Kosovo 3, Slovenia 1.

Today at 12:00 CET: Spain vs.  Austria, Kosovo vs. Slovenia

Group 2: France 6 (QUALIFIED), Belgium and The Netherlands 3, Lithuania 0.

Today at 19:00 CET: Belgium vs. The Netherlands, Lithuania vs. France

Group 3: Norway 4, Israel and Montenegro 3, Bosnia Herzegovina 1.

Today at 15:00 CET: Israel vs. Norway, Montenegro vs. Bosnia Herzegovina

Group 4: Portugal (+4) and Denmark (+3) 6, Belgium and Greece 0

Today at 16:00 CET: Denmark vs. Portugal, Belgium vs. Greece

Group 5: Italy 6, Czechia and Georgia 3, Scotland 0.

Today at 14:30 CET: Italy vs. Georgia, Czechia vs. Scotland

Group 6: Turkey 6 (QUALIFIED), Romania and Croatia 3, Germany 0.

Today at 14:00 CET: Germany vs. Turkey, Croatia vs. Romania.

Group 7: Ukraine (+5) and Switzerland (+3) 6, Latvia and North Macedonia 0.

Today at 14:00 CET: Ukraine vs. Switzerland, Latvia vs. North Macedonia.