Cyprus finished off their Under-21 European Championship qualifying campaign on Tuesday with a 4-1 reverse at home to the Netherlands.

The defeat saw Nicos Andronicou’s side finish bottom of their group on four points – collected from a 2-2 draw in Belarus and a stunning 1-0 victory away to Turkey.

During Tuesday’s game at the Ammochostos Stadium, Donny van de Beek had given the Dutch visitors the lead when he was given too much time to place his shot beyond keeper Evangelos Georgiou on 17 minutes.

Cyprus equalised three minutes later when star player Vasilis Papafotis whipped in a clever free-kick for Koullis Panayi to cross into the path of Nicholas Ioannou, who scored with a well-placed header.

The Netherlands took back the lead minutes before halftime when Steven Bergwijn played a neat one-two with Riechedly Bazoer before rifling home his side’s second.

The Netherlands wrapped up the three points with two more goals in the second half through Bergwijn once again and Bazoer. Cyprus then hit the woodwork twice through Ioannis Pittas and Thodoros Josefides to sum a frustrating even for the hosts in Larnaca.

Group winners Slovakia – along with the Czech Republic, Denmark, England, FYROM, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Sweden – will join hosts Poland in the finals while Austria, Norway, Serbia and Spain will head into the play-offs.

Cyprus Weekly

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