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Portugal, Italy set up U-19’s Euro final

Norway, Spain ousted in semi-finals on Thursday

Portugal and Italy will contend this year’s U-19’s European title after progressing from their respective semi-finals on Thursday.

The Portuguese broke little sweat to see off Norway as they scored five goals without a reply.

On the other hand, the Italians produced their best performance in this tournament to stun Spain 3-2 in a nerve-wracking encounter at the National Stadium.

Gustavo Sa, Hugo Felix and Rodrigo Ribeiro opened a three-goal lead for Portugal inside the opening half hour of play, virtually wrapping the Portuguese qualification.

The Norwegian, who qualified as Group B runners-up, were no match to Portugal who scored two more goals after the break – Ribeiro again and Manchester City’s Carlos Borges.

Meanwhile, Italy left it late to advance with Luca Lipani heading home five minutes from time to send the Italians into their first final since 2018, two editions ago.

Monza’s Samuele Vignato broke the deadlock on the 52nd minute but Spain levelled terms six minutes later through Club Brugge’s new signing Victor Barbera.

Italy went ahead again on the 66th minute through Niccolo Pisilli but once again were pegged back by Spain, with Iacopo Regonesi recording an own goal.

Nonetheless, Genoa’s Lipani scored a late winner to set up a crunch final that is pencilled for Sunday.

The two teams met on Matchday 2 in Group A with the Portuguese crashing ten-man Italy 5-1 at the Centenary Stadium.

They met in the 2018 final with Portugal claiming the title in a thrilling 4-3 victory after extra-time, lifting their maiden U-19’s championship.

On the other hand, Italy’s last success in this tournaments dates back to 2003 when, ironically, beat Portugal 2-0 in Liechtenstein with former Inter player Giampaolo Pazzini scoring one of the goals.

Photo: Matthew Mirabelli.

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