Netherlands are U17 European Champions after defeating Italy 4-1 on penalties in the final. The match finished 2-2 in Rotherham. 

Kees van Wonderen made two changes to the side that defeated England on penalties in the semi-finals with Ryan Gravenberch and Elayis Tavsan coming in for Brian Brobbey and Crysencio Summerville.

Netherlands started brightly and came close to the opening goal in the 14th minute with Gravenberch curling a terrific effort onto the crossbar. The Ajax midfielder created two good chances afterwards but shot straight at the goalkeeper before sending the ball over the bar when Mohammed Ihattaren’s free-kick was parried into his path.

As the first half wore on, Italy came into the game and Joey Koorevaar had to make two great saves to deny Gyabuaa and Ricci.

Six minutes into the second half the breakthrough came for Netherlands.  JurriĆ«n Timber played a one-two with Daishawn Redan before firing a deflected strike over Alessandro Russo and into the net.

Netherlands were comfortable but with twenty minutes to go, Italy broke forward and Samuele Ricci found the top corner from the edge of the area to make it 1-1. Two minutes later, Italy had the lead as Alessio Riccardi cut in from the left before curling a terrific strike past Koorevaar.

Van Wonderen threw on Brobbey and it was the Ajax forward who equalised with seven minutes to go, tapping in an excellent Ihattaren cross. No winner was found meaning the final went to penalty kicks.

Koorevaar was once again the hero for Netherlands saving Italy’s first two spot kicks while Burger, Ihattaren, J Timber and Hendriks all scored to secure the title for Oranje. It’s Netherlands third success at this level and first since 2012.

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