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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » England U-21 lose epic shootout

England U-21 lose epic shootout

June 21, 2007 16:11 IST

The Netherlands reached their second consecutive European Under-21 final on Wednesday after knocking out England 13-12 on penalties and will face Serbia, who beat Belgium 2-0 in the evening kick-off.

The Netherlands and England were level at 1-1 after a goalless period of extra-time, sending their semi-final in Heerenveen into an epic shoot-out that the hosts won, thanks to defender Gianni Zuiverloon's confident strike.

Dutch goalkeeper Boy Waterman made three fine penalty saves before England's Anton Ferdinand hit the top of the bar with his spot kick, leaving Zuiverloon to clinch a place in the final.

England had taken the lead in the 39th minute when Leroy Lita scored his third goal of the tournament.

But the Under-21 title holders put England under constant pressure in the second half and equalised in the 89th minute when Maceo Rigters scored his third goal of the tournament with an overhead kick from Ryan Donk's header back across the area.

Serbia took an early lead in Arnhem when Aleksandar Kolarov scored just four minutes into their semi-final from a free kick awarded after Dejan Milovanovic was brought down.

The Serbs sealed their victory in the 87th minute with a tap-in by substitute Dragan Mrdja after Bosko Jankovic's header.

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