Netherlands U17’s are relying on being one of the seven best runners up in the European Championship elite round qualifying after a 0-0 draw with Belgium.

  • By Michael Bell
  • Follow Michael on Twitter

dilrosun ajanajbddMaarten Stekelenburg’s side went into the game knowing that only a win would be enough for them to automatically qualify for the European Championships in Bulgaria this May.

After only five minutes Netherlands suffered a big blow when goalkeeper Justin Bijlow was forced off after colliding with Rick van Drongelen, and Thijmen Nijhuis was flung on for his debut. Belgium were the more dominant side in the first half and Jorn van Camp was unlucky to see his shot hit off the woodwork, but Carel Eiting nearly gave the young Oranje side the lead with a shot that flew just over the bar.

Netherlands had a lot of possession in the second half, but it was Belgium who had the better chances to win the game with the woodwork twice coming to the rescue to deny Van Vaerenbergh and Orel Magala.

With Georgia beating Northern Ireland in the other group game, Netherlands are in a good position to qualify as one of the seven best runners up with four points. However they will have to wait until the qualifying ends on the 26th of March to find out if they are guaranteed a slot in the tournament this May.

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