(UEFA)–Armenia reached the finals of an international tournament for the first time in devastating fashion as four goals from Edgar Manucharyan earned a 5-1 success against Elite round Group 4 hosts and a place in the UEFA European Under-19 Championship final round in Northern Ireland.
Coach Samvel Petrosyan’s side went into the final round of matches level with Italy on four points and needing to better the Italians’ result on Tuesday–May 31–to progress to this summer’s tournament in Northern Ireland. In the event–Belgium’s 2-0 victory against the Italians gave Armenia the chance to progress–and they duly seized the opportunity at the ZTE stadium in Zalaegerszeg–Hungary.
AFC Ajax striker Manucharyan opened the scoring in the 12th minute–and doubled his side’s lead with a second goal midway through the first half. Although Pter Nemeth halved the deficit in the 29th minute–Manucharyan restored Armenia’s two-goal advantage two minutes later–completing his hat-trick in the process.
Despite the advantage–Armenian nerves were not truly settled until 19 minutes from time–when Manucharyan scored his and Armenia’s fourth–and Artak Oseyan’s fifth six minutes from time added gloss to an already memorable day for his country.