Spain Outscore Mali, Set Up England Final

27 October, 2017, 01:02 | Author: Jeffery Armstrong
   England's Rhian Brewster and Conor Gallagher celebrate winning the Under-17 World Cup in Kolkata India

Spain's run in the tournament has been a dominant one so far, and bar a 2-1 loss to Brazil, they have won all their games in the tournament.

He might be one of the brightest youngsters in global football but Spanish striker and skipper Abel Ruiz is not thinking too far ahead and said now he just wants to focus on the final against England in the FIFA U-17 World Cup.“I am concentrating now only on the final game against England and not on anything else, ” said the FC Barcelona junior player after scoring a brace in Spains dominant 3-1 semifinal victory over African U-17 champions Mali here last night. Abel Ruiz made no mistake in clinching the opener as he hit the middle of the net, leaving goalkeeper Youssouf Koita helpless. It was the Spanish that took the lead via a penalty as Cesar Gelabert brought down in the box.

Spain was happy to soak Mali's pressure and in the 33rd minute nearly doubled its tally on the counter when Ruiz's side-footed finish, capping off a slick move from the left flank, missed the right-hand post by a whisker. Spain doubled their lead shortly before the break when Ruiz latched on to a defence-splitting pass from Gomez and found the target with a first time attempt.

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Mali rallied, but Cheick Doucoure's fine strike was not given even though replays showed it had crossed the line.

Spain then sealed the deal in the 71st minute after Ferran Torres leaped above the Mali defence to make it 3-0 in what proved to be a fruitful end to a smart move.

Torres, who had a quiet game, headed in Spain's third from a Sergio Gómez cross that came from the left.

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N'Diaye got a consolation goal when he pulled one back for Mali in the 74th minute.

The full-time result saw Spain march into the final of the tournament where they will face their fellow Europeans England in what would be a recap of the 2017 U-17 European Championship finale.

The two losing semi-finalists, Mali and Brazil will figure in the Playoff match for the third place at 5 p.m. on Saturday in Kolkata.

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