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Holland U21 progress to semi-finals (

30 mei 2006 - Source:

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Before the decisive game against Italy was kicked off, Holland U21 were rooted to the bottom of their group, having earned just one point from their two group games. However, the team coached by Foppe de Haan miraculously managed to qualify for the UEFA European Under-21 in Portugal. Golden substitutionHolland U21 needed a win over titleholders Italy, following the defeat against Ukraine and the draw against Denmark. Holland had a bright start and created some chances, but they lacked cutting edge up front. PSV youngster Ismail Aissati was included in the starting line up again and put in another fine performance. De Haan took off midfielder Schaars on 72e minutes and brought on Daniël de Ridder. It turned out to be a golden substitution, as he headed high into the net from a Romeo Castelen cross, with his first touch! The Dutch survived some scares during the final fifteen minutes, but Ajax goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer superbly succeeded in keeping a clean sheet. Holland U21 will play France for a place in the final on Thursday. The French have won all three group games and have not conceded one single goal so far.