Our event of the day is the opening two group fixtures of the UEFA Under 19 European Championships in Finland. Last year’s defeated finalists Portugal will hope to go one better this time around. They kick off their campaign against Norway, who are appearing at the championships for the first time since 2005, at the Hietalahti Stadium in Vaasa. This is followed by hosts Finland, making their championships debut, against 2016 runners up Italy. Portugal are aiming to win a unique double, with a similar squad having won the UEFA Under 17 European Championships two years previously. Amongst the set of returning players is José Gomes. The Portuguese striker was the top scorer at the 2016 Under 17 tournament with seven goals. At a tender seventeen years old, Gomes made his first team debut for Portuguese giants Benfica, making him the third youngest player in the club’s history. If he manages to recapture the form that shot Portugal to European Under 17 glory two years ago, Norway will certainly have their work cut out.
Looking ahead to the tournament, holders England will be hoping to retain the title they won in Georgia last year. Their squad contains bright young prospect Reiss Nelson, who has already started in the Premier League for Arsenal. The Three Lions also boast plenty of football league experience. Striker Ben Brereton has notched up over 50 appearances for Nottingham Forrest, despite being just 19 years old, whilst Flynn Downes has had a steady run in the Ipswich Town first team before helping Luton win promotion. England’s group contains Ukraine, Turkey and three-time champions France. The UEFA Under 19 European Championships is a fantastic showcase of Europe’s hottest young footballing talent. Way back in 2002, a young Fernando Torres caught the world’s attention at these very championships. A series of dazzling displays saw him take home the player of the tournament and top goal scorer awards as Spain lifted the trophy. Expect to see a spectacle full of future global stars!
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the FIL World Lacrosse Championships in Israel. Highlights from the 18 fixtures on display today includes nine-time champions the USA, aiming to regain the trophy they lost in 2014, in action against Scotland. Reigning champions Canada face Iroquois Nation and England play Australia, who have finished as runners-up on three occasions. The second one day international between Zimbabwe and Pakistan gets underway at Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo. Pakistan lead the series 1-0 following their crushing 201-run victory on Friday. The ATP World Tour makes its way across Europe with the Swedish Open beginning in Bastad and the Croatia Open getting underway in Umag.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by FIFA
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