European Under-21 Championship

June 15, 2013

Full-time

Italy U21

1 - 0

Netherlands U21

European Under-21 Championship

18:30 +00:00, June 15, 2013

Petah Tivka Stadium

Referee: Ovidiu Alin Hategan

Italy U21 1-0 Netherlands U21

Italy will face Spain in the final of the European Under-21 Championship after Fabio Borini's goal secured a 1-0 win over Netherlands.

The Liverpool striker's cool 79th-minute finish settled a tense affair which had looked destined for extra-time before his intervention. The result sets up a clash of two Under-21 superpowers on Tuesday night, with Italy chasing a sixth title while Spain hunt a fourth.

The Dutch came close to breaking the deadlock in just the fifth minute as Marco Verratti brought down Georgino Wijnaldum on the edge of the penalty area.

Adam Maher took the resulting free-kick and Italy goalkeeper Francesco Bardi was rooted to his line as he watched the ball hit the outside of his left post.

Netherlands were applying some pressure and won a series of corners but Bardi was able to deal with them before Kevin Strootman fired a shot from distance wide.

Borini passed up a chance for Italy in the 29th minute as he won a free-kick but when Lorenzo Insigne supplied the resulting cross the 22-year-old could only head wide.

Ciro Immobile then brought a save out of Jeroen Zoet with the keeper having to stop his shot with his feet before Insigne fired wide from 25 yards.

Daley Blind forced Bardi into a smart parry as the interval approached and but it was Italy who should have taken the lead three minutes before the break.

Borini gathered the ball midway into his own half and ran into the penalty area but could only fire into the side-netting after bearing down on Zoet.

The second half proved to be a more cagey affair than the first and Borini's speculative shot from distance which went wide was one of few chances. But the former Roma man's next opportunity proved to be pivotal as he fired his team into the final.

Insigne showed smart feet to beat his man on the edge of the box and played the ball in to Borini who took two touches on his right foot to get on his preferred side and slotted past Zoet into the far corner.

Netherlands substitute Leroy Fer should have equalised in the 89th minute as he leapt highest to connect with Maher's corner but he could only head straight at the keeper.