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Serbia Win Maiden European Under 19 Championship Crown

Serbia celebrate their penalty win over Portugal in the semi-final, who knew they'd be celebrating again last night?

Serbia celebrate their penalty win over Portugal in the semi-final, who knew they’d be celebrating again last night?

Serbia have been crowned European Under 19 champions after a single goal victory over France last night.

Adrija Lukovic scored the game’s only goal in the 57th minute and Serbia managed to hold out for the remaining half an hour despite an abundance of French pressure towards the end of the match.

The first half was a game of even chances before Serbia eventually broke the deadlock thanks to some intelligent play from Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Marko Pavlovski’s cross cleared Antoine Conte and found Mitrovic at the back post. He had the vision to pull back for Lukovic to easily slot the ball in past Quentin Beunardeau.

Yassine Benzia had the best chances for France to mount a comeback but he couldn’t convert and the trophy went to Serbia for the first time in their history.

Goalscorer Lukovic told Uefa.com: “We were a bit scared in the first 20 minutes because of the atmosphere but we managed to find our rhythm after that. We scored the goal at the right time, defended well and deservedly won.

“When I scored, I thought how it is the 57th minute and we had more than half an hour to defend that lead – and against France. But I opened the championship with a goal at this stadium and I ended it with a goal at this stadium and that makes me happy. This is the best day of my life.”

He added: “This tournament has been spectacular. We haven’t lost a match. We had two draws against France and Portugal. When you finish first in a group that has Turkey, France and Georgia – who knocked out England – in it, I really don’t see a reason why we shouldn’t be European champions.

“We will celebrate properly tomorrow. We are still not aware of what we have achieved and it is when we return to Serbia that we will be able to comprehend what we have done.”

Mitrovic, who provided the key pass for Lukovic to score the winner, said: “I really don’t know what to say. We achieved a historical success for Serbia and I hope that the people at home are proud of us. I am still not aware what we have done here, but I hope that people will be waiting for us when we get home. I dedicate this win to my family and my late uncle.”

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About Tom Bennett

I'm a 21-year-old Multimedia Journalism student at Bournemouth University aspiring to be one of Britain's top sports journalists. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for contact and further information.

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