Hosts start with win
Sunday 10 June 2007 Heerenveen
Netherlands 1-0 Israel
A single goal was enough to give the Dutch victory in the opening match of the 2007 European under 21 championships.
The impressive Royston Drenthe curled in a free kick in the 10th minute, which Maduro met at the far post to tap in for what turned out to be only goal of he match. In the other group A match Belgium and Portugal played out a goalless draw. Belgium dominated the first half while the Portuguese came closest in the second half.
Serbs sink Italy
Monday 11 June 2007 Nijmegen
Serbia 1-0 Italy
Tournament favourites Italy suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at the hands of Serbia
The Italians missed several chances but it was Dejan Milovanovic who popped up in the 63rd minute to score the winner for Serbia with a well-placed low shot from outside the area. Earlier in group B England drew 0-0 against the Czech Republic, with Leroy Lita missing from the penalty spot in the 88th minute having sent the goalkeeper the wrong way.
Dutch secure semi
Wednesday 13 June 2007 Groningen
Netherlands 2-1 Portugal
A second win for the Netherlands saw them safely through to the semi finals.
Babel tucked the ball away from the penalty spot in the 32nd sending the keeper the wrong way. The Dutch came close just before the break when Rigters saw his effort come off the post, but in the second half despite Portugal having several attempts on goal, it was Drenthe who ran to the by-line and pulled the ball back for Rigters to finish off from inside the 6 yard area. Veloso scored for Portugal 2 minutes later with a beautifully struck free kick, but that was not enough for the visitors who had had their coach sent to the stands. Earlier Israel bowed out after losing 1-0 to Belgium who had been reduced to 10 men with the somewhat harsh dismissal of Fellaini in the 17th minute. Mirallas scored the winner in the 82nd minute having struck the base of the post 2 minutes earlier.
Italy fight back
Thursday 14 June 2007 Arnhem
England 2-2 Italy
Desperate not to lose Italy fought back 2 down to earn a draw against England in a match they could have won
Lita should have put England ahead in the 17th minute when he bust into the box, rounded the keeper but somehow missed the empty goal. Two minutes later he volleyed the ball against the underside of the crossbar. England took the lead in the 24th minute when Nugent scored with a scooping header and 2 minutes later Leroy Lita made amends for his earlier misses with a left-footed shot from inside the area to double England's lead. England failed to deal with an Italian corner in the 35th minute and the ball came off the thigh of Chiellini to nestle into the back of the net and give Italy a glimmer of hope. After forcing Scott Carson into 2 saves in the remaining 10 minutes of the half, Italy continued in the second half with determination and it was Alberto Aquilani who found the target with a long-range shot in the 69th minute to give Italy the point that keeps their hopes alive. Serbia qualified from this group when Jankovic scored with a header late in stoppage time to beat the Czech Republic 1-0.
Neighbours' top draw
Saturday 16 June 2007 Heerenveen
Netherlands 2-2 Belgium
Belgium came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw with the Netherlands, rendering Portugal's simultaneous 4-0 thumping of Israel worthless.
Kevin Maralas found the top left corner of the goal with a looping header in the 9th minute to put Belgium ahead despite some early Dutch pressure. The hosts were level 4 minutes later when Babel teed up the ball with some quick thinking for Rigters to stroke home. Logan Baily failed to keep out a free-kick from Royston Drenthe in the 37 minute, but Belgium equalized in the 70th minute when Pocognoli smashed the ball through the hands of Vermeer to set up a semi final clash against Serbia.
England win the day
Sunday 17 June 2007 Nijmegen
England 2-0 Serbia
England ignored racial abuse from Serbian fans and beat the group winners 2-0 to join them in the next round at the expense of Italy who were beating the Czech Republic 3-1 at the same time
The young lions got off to a perfect start when Taylor headed the ball across the face of goal for Lita to pounce and head it over the line giving England the lead in the 5th minute. Lita came close to doubling his tally with a spectacular bicycle-kick in the 62nd minute but was denied by Kesic in the Serbian goal. In the 77th minute Derbyshire found himself in open space being played onside by an injured defender and put the match beyond Serbia with a professional finish which enraged the Serbian players causing disgraceful scenes. Despite Serbia losing their cool, Huddlestone was the only player to see red for foul language in the 90th minute.
(UEFA under 21 semi final)
Injured Lions exit on penalties
Wednesday 20 June 2007 Heerenveen
Netherlands 1-1-England (13-12 on penalties)
Having led until the last minute, injury stricken England found themselves hanging on in extra time only to go out to the hosts in an epic penalty shoot-out.
With very few chances created by either side, the ball fell to Leroy Lita in the 39th minute who made no mistake with a powerful left footed shot. Early in the second half Lita's free-kick had the Dutch keeper rooted to the spot, but his effort came off the post. As Steven Taylor lay injured with only a minute remaining, the Dutch pushed forward and Rigters scored the equalizer with an overhead kick. England went into extra time with the injured Taylor and down to 10 men having lost Nedum Onuoha to an injury with no more substitutions allowed, but managed to hold on and take the match to penalties. A total of 32 penalties were needed before the hosts secured their place in the final with a 13-12 victory where they will meet Serbia who beat Belgium 2-0 in the other semi final.