Fri, Jun 26, 2015 - Page 18 News List

Portugal, Sweden make semis; Italy, England exit

TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE:Marco Benassi scored a brace and Andrea Belotti added a third as Italy beat England 3-1, but it was not enough as both sides were ousted

AFP, OLOMOUC, Czech Republic

Portugal’s Goncalo Paciencia celebrates after scoring against Sweden in their UEFA Under-21 Championship match in Uherske Hradiste, the Czech Republic, on Wednesday.

Photo: Reuters

Portugal and Sweden made it to the semi-finals of the UEFA Under-21 Championship in the Czech Republic on Wednesday after taking the top two spots in Group B, while England bowed out.

A 1-1 draw was all that Portugal and Sweden needed to reach the semi-finals, while Italy were left empty-handed despite an impressive 3-1 win over bottom-placed England.

Portugal won the group with five points from three games, while Sweden and Italy both had four points, with Sweden making it to the semi-finals owing to a 2-1 win over Italy in the group’s opener.

Portugal are due to take on Germany, while Sweden face Denmark in the semi-finals tomorrow.

In Wednesday’s game, Portugal and Sweden took their time to score knowing early on that a draw would send them both to the semi-finals.

Porto striker Goncalo Paciencia put Portugal ahead eight minutes from time, but Groningen midfielder Simon Tibbling equalized a minute from the end.

In the group’s other game, Torino midfielder Marco Benassi scored twice and US Citta di Palermo striker Andrea Belotti added another to hand Italy a 3-1 win over England, who only managed a late consolation goal courtesy of Norwich City midfielder Nathan Redmond.

Italy took a 2-0 lead with back-to-back goals between the 25th and 27th minutes.

England only scored twice in the tournament, with star Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane failing to find the target in three games, despite creating many chances.

Denmark won Group A with six points from three games, ahead of Germany with five points.

The final is scheduled for Tuesday.

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