A blunder by goalkeeper Justin Bijlow gifted Portugal a 1-0 victory over Netherlands U19’s in the European Championships semi-final.

Coach Maarten Stekelenburg decided to begin the game without a centre-forward as Che Nunnely came back into the side for Jay-Roy Grot. His Netherlands side began brightly with Javairo Dilrosun testing the Portugal goalkeeper before Nunnely saw a header cleared off the line.

However, after the first five minutes Portugal began to get a hold of the ball and dominated the possession without ever really threatening Netherlands defence. Then in the 24th minute, a howler by Justin Bijlow gifted the Portuguese the lead. Gelson Fernandes fired a hopeful shot towards the bottom corner, which Bijlow seemed to save easily, but the ball squirmed through his grip and into the net.

Without a striker, Netherlands struggled to create chances around the box and were relying on Dilrosun to try and conjure something himself. In the second half, Portugal wasted several chances to kill Netherlands off, while at the other end Teun Koopmeiners came close with a shot that landed on the roof of the net.

With twelve minutes to go, Stekelenburg finally brought on Grot, but the big forward couldn’t find the equaliser as Portugal held on to book their place in the final against either England or Czech Republic.




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