🇪🇺 France and Switzerland through; Italy follow Germany out; England win | OneFootball

🇪🇺 France and Switzerland through; Italy follow Germany out; England win | OneFootball

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Emily Wilson·28 June 2023

🇪🇺 France and Switzerland through; Italy follow Germany out; England win

Article image:🇪🇺 France and Switzerland through; Italy follow Germany out; England win

The final U21 Euro group stage matches kicked off on Wednesday with four games scheduled and some dramatic results.

Here is what went down.

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France win but Switzerland still through

Scorers: Ndoye 35′; Gouiri 16′ (P), Barcola 65′, Cherki 76′, Caqueret 81′

France joined England in finishing the group stages with a perfect record following a thrilling win over Switzerland.

Les Bleus controlled the opening half but needed a bit of luck to find the back of the net as an early mistake allowed Amine Gouiri to open the scoring from the penalty spot.

However, Switzerland pulled level after a brilliant team move, and a dummy in the build-up allowed Dan Ndoye to score his second tournament goal for 1-1.

The match remained deadlocked heading into the second half as the action went end-to-end. However, France’s quality was slightly better in the second half – especially in the final stages.

Bradley Barcola started and finished his own move for 2-1 before a quick give-and-go allowed Rayan Cherki to add a third, and captain Maxence Caqueret scored a fourth.

The result means France finished top of Group D with three wins, seven goals scored and three against. Switzerland, meanwhile, still crept through in second.

France will now face Ukraine, while Switzerland will face Spain in the quarter-finals.

Norway and Italy fall short

Scorer: Botheim 65′

Italy had fate in their hands heading into this match but didn’t turn up across 90 minutes and bowed out early.

Despite imminent Newcastle signing Sandro Tonali again pulling the strings, the likes of Pietro Pellegri and Wilfried Gnonto struggled to add any impact to the attack.

With only one shot on target, the door was open for Norway, and Erik Botheim’s turned things 1-0 and Group D on its head.

Another goal for either side would have ensured one of these sides moved on, but it wasn’t meant to be.

A Tonali corner teed up a potential equaliser for Italy, but the ball hit off the bar before Antonio Nusa was denied from doubling Norway’s lead at the other end.

The result means heavyweights Italy finished third while Norway finished fourth.

Newcastle fans could therefore see their club confirm their latest arrival shortly.

England knock holders Germany out

Scorers: Archer 4′, Elliott 21′

The talent of some Premier League stars was well on display as England piled misery on holders Germany who were without star man Youssoufa Moukoko for this must-win game.

Despite already qualifying for the knockout rounds, the Young Lions never held back. Aston Villa stars Jacob Ramsey and Cameron Archer combined to break the deadlock early in what was a huge signal to club manager Unai Emery.

In the blink of an eye, a brilliant solo run from Harvey Elliott (starting in his own half) doubled the lead with his first U21 goal for England.

Liverpool’s youngster ran the show in the second half, coming inches away from another goal and serving brilliant free-kicks, but no team-mate could finish.

Meanwhile, Germany lacked any hunger and looked highly perplexed about how to save their campaign.

The holders bowed out in the group stages after a lacklustre tournament ended with just one point and two goals, neither of which their Borussia Dortmund star scored.

Arsenal’s Emile Smith-Rowe and Newcastle’s Anthony Gordon came off the bench to try and add a third for England, demonstrating some interesting link-up play, but they fell short.

The Young Lions (three wins, six goals, zero conceded) will face Portugal in the quarter-finals.

Israel scrape through

Scorer: Gandelman 82′

Late drama ensured another shock in Group C as Israel scraped past the Czech Republic on the third day.

After 80 minutes, the match stood 0-0, but Israel dominated the statistics (17 shots to seven), knowing a win would send them through.

Omri Gandelman was the eventual hero as the Czech Republic’s decision to sit back and perhaps play for a draw came back to bite them.

Some pinball in the box led to the No. 6 heading home the winner, grabbing his shirt in tears.

The result means the Czech Republic bowed out while Israel will face Georgia in the quarter-finals.