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2023 UEFA U21 Euro: Semi-Final Preview

Adjarabet Arena
[Credit: UEFA]

The UEFA European U21 Championships reaches the semi-final stage with Spain, England, Ukraine, and Israel vying for a spot in the final. Spain aims to make history by winning their sixth title in the men’s UEFA European Under-21 Championship. England seeks their first tournament final since 2009 and their third title, while Israel and Ukraine hope to secure their first-ever championship.

Israel U21 vs England U21 – Wednesday 5th July, 5pm Kick-off time

Israel and England meet for the second time, competing for a place in this year’s final. In their previous encounter during the group stage, England emerged as 2-0 winners, securing their spot in the quarter-finals as group winners. Despite the loss, Israel impressed many by progressing to the knockout stages alongside Lee Carsley’s team, ahead of the Czech Republic and defending champions Germany.

In the quarter-finals, Guy Luzon’s side defeated co-hosts Georgia in a penalty shootout, with Daniel Peretz making key saves. Attacking midfielder Oscar Gloukh stood out in the match, and Israel hopes for another strong performance from him in the semi-final against England, as they aim to reach their first-ever final.

England advanced to the knockout stages with three consecutive 2-0 victories in the group stage, including a win against their semi-final opponents. In the quarter-final clash against Portugal, Anthony Gordon’s goal secured a 1-0 victory for the Young Lions.

England’s solid defense, led by captain and Manchester City centre-back Taylor Harwood-Bellis, has yet to concede a goal in the tournament. The team seeks to replicate their group stage success against Israel and reach their first final in 14 years.

Spain U21 vs Ukraine U21 – Wednesday 5th July, Kick-off time: 8pm

Spain and Ukraine meet again in the second semi-final, eight days after playing out a thrilling 2-2 draw in the final group game. Spain aims for their ninth appearance in the final, while Ukraine seeks their second.

Spain secured their spot in the semi-finals with an extra-time victory over Switzerland in the quarter-finals. The trio of Sergio Gomez, Abel Ruiz, and Rodri Sanchez has been exceptional for Santiago Denia’s team, and they will look to maintain their impressive form against Ukraine. Spain is currently on a 14-game unbeaten run and hopes to extend it in the semi-final.

Ukraine staged a remarkable comeback against France in the quarter-finals, coming from a goal down to secure their place in the semi-finals. Mykhailo Mudryk, who returned from injury, played a crucial role in Ukraine’s victory. Georgiy Sudokov, the tournament’s top goal scorer, also found the net in that match.

Ukraine aims to reach their first tournament final since 2006. Although Spain is considered the favorite, Ukraine showed in the group stage that they can match Spain’s qualities. The return of Mudryk from injury is a significant boost for Ruslan Rotan’s team, and this match promises to be a thrilling encounter.

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