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UEFA U-21 championship semifinal decided after 16-round shootout
June 21st, 2007 7AM

TAGS:  england, olympics


The host Netherlands advanced to the final of the UEFA Under-21 Championship on Wednesday after beating England, 13-12, in a shootout that lasted 16 rounds,

Heerenveen's Gianni Zuiverloon converted the winning penalty in the shootout that took place after the two teams played to a 1-1 tie. Dutch goalkeeper Boy Waterman made three fine penalty saves before England's Anton Ferdinand hit the top of the bar with his spot kick, setting up Zuiverloon's decisive shot. The 25 goals in the shootout were a record for a UEFA competition.

Maceo Rigters sent the game into overtime with the tying goal for the Jong Oranje on an overhead kick in the 90th minute. Reading's Leroy Lita scored for England in the first half.

Serbia beat Belgium, 2-0, in the other semifinal on goals by Aleksandar Kolarov, who scored after just four minutes from a free kick, and substitute Dragan Mrdja.

The Netherlands, Serbia and Belgium qualified for the 2008 Olympic men's soccer competition -- England does not participate in the Olympics -- and third-place finishers Portugal and Italy meet in a playoff Thursday to decide Europe's fourth berth in next year's finals.

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