Netherlands got their European U19 Championship campaign underway with a 1-0 win over a 10-man Russia.

nouri u19Aron Winter’s side, which was missing a number of key players due to club commitments, had to withstand some fierce early pressure from Russia, but gradually grew into the game with Abdelhak Nouri smashing a good chance wide, while winger Bilal Ould-Chikh also sent a shot just past the upright.

The soon to be Benfica winger Ould-Chikh was Netherlands biggest threat in the first half, and just before the break his cross was headed into the net by Pelle van Amersfoort.

Russia nearly found the equaliser early in the second half after Ajax defender Terry Lartey Sanniez lost the ball to Georgi Melkadze, but the midfielder’s pull back to striker Rami Sheydaev was smacked against the crossbar.

Any chance of a comeback for the Russian’s was ended on 62 minutes when defender Aleksandr Likhachev was shown his 2nd yellow. Despite playing against ten men, Netherlands couldn’t find a second goal with Nouri sending a lob onto the roof of the net, while Issa Kallon was twice denied by the Russian keeper.

Netherlands now face Germany on Friday as they seek to reach the tournaments knock out stages for the first time.

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