On Saturday, six teams from Europe booked their place in the FIFA U-20 World Cup, which is due to take place in Colombia next year.
France, England, Austria, Spain, Croatia and Portugal will all compete in the world's showpiece youth tournament after finishing in the top three of the final two European groups. Spain finished top of Group B with the only perfect record of the opening stage, while France, hosts of the tournament, topped the other table with seven points. The two will be joined in the semi-finals by England, who drew France 1-1 on Saturday to finish with four points in Group A, and the second place team from Group B, Croatia.
Austria pulled off the biggest shock of the final round of matches in beating the Netherlands 1-0 through a late penalty from Marco Djuricin, and thus finished in front of the Dutch on the head-to-head tie-breaker after both ended up on three points. The Austrians had a worse goal difference but will be in the world finals along with Portugal, who were thrashed 5-0 by Croatia on the final match day but still finish ahead of Italy.
Other than the Austrians, the other five teams were already in the top three positions, and the results all went their way to keep them there, with Spain’s impressive 3-0 win against Italy moving them to nine points from three matches.
France will face Croatia and Spain take on England in the semi-finals of the UEFA European U-19 Championship next Tuesday, 27 July. The final will take place on Friday, 30 July.