England and Spain advanced to the final of the U21 European Championship with clear victories. The young footballers from the island defeated outsiders Israel in the semifinals, well deserved, 3-0 (1-0). The Spaniards followed up with a 5:1 (2:1) against Ukraine. The final will be played on Saturday (6 p.m.) in Batumi, Georgia.
Morgan Gibbs-White missed a penalty for the Young Lions in the 17th minute, but then gave his team the lead in the 42nd minute. Cole Palmer scored the decisive second goal in the 63rd minute. After minutes of video evidence of an alleged offside position, the goal counted. Shortly before the end, substitute Cameron Archer (90th) made the final score in Batumi.
Israel and Ukraine at the Olympics in Paris
For the first time since 2009, the English made it into the final of a U21 European Championship. In the group phase, the team sealed the early end of the German team with a 2-0 win. The Israelis had qualified for the knockout phase as second in the German preliminary round group and, like the Ukraine, can console themselves after the end with a ticket for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
In the second semi-final in Bucharest, Ukraine took the lead in the 13th minute through Artem Bondareno. But then the Spaniards turned up the heat. Abel Ruiz (17th), Oihan Sancet (24th), Antonio Blanco (54th), Aimar Oroz (68th) and Sergio Gomez (78th) made it clear to reach the final. The Spaniards were last European champions in 2019, when they won the final 2-1 against the DFB juniors.