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England 0 Spain 3 (Sanchez 16,78, P.Garrote 54)
at Burton Albion F.C.
England's hopes of reaching the Final of the UEFA Under-17 Championships came to an end when they were beaten by a very impressive Spanish side in the semi finals at Burton.
Lois Fidler's side gave their best but Spain were too strong on the day and they will play Germany in the Final on Sunday whilst England will take on Italy once again for third place and the remaining World Cup spot.
Spain started the game confidently and almost got an early strike as Aitana Bonmati carried the ball forward but her shot from the edge of the area hit the bar.
On the sixteen minute mark though, it was Spain who took the lead when Mireya Garcia Boa's cross was headed in at the far post by Andrea Sanchez.
It could have been two a couple of minutes later but Nahikari Garcia's header came back off the post after she was picked out by Sanchez' cross.
England hit back with Jemma Purfield flashing a dangerous ball across the face of goal but no team mate was on hand to turn the ball home. Atlanta Primus tried her luck from the edge of the area but her effort flew straight at Elena Del Toro.
There was a scare for England just before half time as Garcia broke into the area and her low cross was cleared from in front of goal by Purfield. Kirstie Levell also needed to make a diving save from a volley by Garcia Boa as Spain finished the first half on top and a goal to the good.
Primus had an early opportunity in the second half when she bundled her way into the area where her shot was deflected wide. Spain broke away from the resulting corner with Garcia Boa playing in Sanchez who held off a challenge from Chloe Kelly before her shot crashed against the near post.
The dangerous Garcia Boa fired a shot over the bar after bursting down the right and Levell did well to hold a strike from Patricia Guijarro as Spain continued to impress going forward.
The pressure was increasing on England and it finally told on 54 minutes. England were the architects of their own downfall though by playing too many passes across the back four with the Spanish strikers pressing them constantly and this led to them conceding a corner. The initial cross was headed away by Leah Williamson but it went as far as Pilar Garrote whose 20-yard drive took a deflection and flew past Levell for the second goal.
Levell needed to make a crucial smothering save to keep her side in the game after Garcia had made a superb run on goal which had taken her past three England players. Sanchez also had a shot saved as Spain looked dangerous every time they went forward.
Spurred on by the excellent Williamson, England tried to seek a consolation goal but the game was put beyond doubt with two minutes left, although it was a fortuitous goal as Sanchez scored direct from a corner, her cross-cum-shot swerving and dipping viciously over Levell.
England: Kirstie Levell, Alice Hassall, Jemma Purfield, Mollie Rouse, Leah Williamson, Gabriella George, Evie Clarke (sub Ellie Wilkinson 57mins), Sophie Stamp (sub Rebecca Lloyd 64mins), Chloe Kelly, Lucy Porter (sub Brogan McHugh 77mins), Atlanta Primus. Subs not used: Sian Rogers, Phillippa Cowley, Ella Williams.
Spain: Elena Del Toro, Nuria Garrote (sub Cintia Montagut 80mins), Beatriz Beltran, Aitana Bonmati, Rocio Galvez,Pilar Garrote, Nahikari Garcia (sub Carmen Menayo 78mins), Mireya Garcia Boa, Patricia Guijarro, Andrea Sanchez,Queralt Gomez. Subs not used: Cristina Portomene, Laura Ortega, Maite Oroz, Laura Dominguez.
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Atlanta Primus takes on Nuria Garrote
(middle) Lucy Porter wins the ball from a grounded Mireya Garcia Boa
(bottom) Leah Williamson is challenged by Aitana Bonmati
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