A late own goal was enough for Netherlands U19’s to earn a 1-0 win over Finland in the opening match of the Elite round of qualifying for the European Championships.

  • By Michael Bell
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Maarten Stekelenburg’s starting eleven contained a number of Eredivisie stars including Justin Kluivert, Giovanni Troupee and Ferdi Kadioglu.

Netherlands struggled in the opening stages against a physically stronger side and went into half time goalless. The Finnish side hit the post in the second half as they threatened to cause an upset while Netherlands continued to be frustrated by a number of missed chances.

Eventually with two minutes to go the breakthrough was made. Mitchell van Bergen sent Kluivert free on the left and his cross was diverted into his own net by Finnish defender Juhani Pikkarainen.

Next up for Oranje is Ukraine on Saturday before the Elite round ends against Greece on Tuesday. Only the top side from each group progresses to the European Championships.

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