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Dublin: 17 °C Sunday 12 July, 2020
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Spain beat Hungary on penalties to seal last-four clash with holders as Italy also progress

We’re at the business end of the Uefa U17 European Championships, and all eyes are on Dublin on Thursday.

Semi-final-bound: Italy will face France.
Semi-final-bound: Italy will face France.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

SPAIN AND ITALY both advanced to the U17 European Championship semi-finals today after coming out on top at Belfield and Tolka Park respectively.

It took penalties to separate Spain and Hungary, with the eventual winners now facing reigning champions the Netherlands in the last four.

Spain opened the scoring through Jordi Escobar in the 11th minute while Gergo Ominger equalised for Hungary five minutes after the break.

With penalties straight after normal time, each side scored four before Andras Nemeth’s effort was saved by José Martinez. With the pressure on, Pablo Moreno made no mistake from the spot as Spain sealed their progression.

Hungary bowed out in cruel fashion after a brilliant performance, just short of pulling off a shock following 90 pulsating minutes of action and a dramatic shoot-out. A consolation of sorts, they now face Ireland’s group winners Belgium in a World Cup play-off on Thursday.

Italy meanwhile edged past Portugal to set up a semi-final against France. Franco Tongya’s 26th-minute strike ultimately settled the tie, the youngster drilling home an excellent team move to put his side in the lead at Shelbourne’s home ground.

Last year’s runners-up were forced to go ultra-defensive in the second period and despite immense pressure from Portugal and a late, late red card for Matteo Ruggeri, they managed to hold on and make it four wins from four.

Portugal now head home, only progressing to the World Cup play-offs had Hungary beaten Spain in today’s other quarter-final clash.

Italy face France on Thursday at Tallaght Stadium [KO 8pm] and Spain go head-to-head with the Dutch at the UCD Bowl [KO 8pm].

The final is on Saturday at 5.30pm in Tallaght Stadium.

Results

  • Italy 1-0 Portugal
  • Hungary 1-1 Spain (Spain won 5-4 on penalties)

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Emma Duffy

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