Spain defeats Iran 3-1 in quart-finals

27 October, 2017, 01:03 | Author: Wilson Dawson
  • Brazil's Gabriel Brazao

Abel Ruiz converted the penalty to give Spain the lead after defender Abdoulaye Diaby clipped Cesar Gelabert's heels in the penalty box.

The first quarter of the intriguing tie saw both continental champions test the respective defensive forces as Sergio Gomez and Lassana N'Diaye came close to slotting in the opening goal for their sides.

Ruiz was the fulcrum around which his team rotated as Euro U-17 champions Spain overwhelmed a fighting Mali to emerge a clear victor at the DY Patil Stadium.

Spain eased their way into the semi-final of the Federation Internationale de Football Association U-17 World Cup India 2017 after defeating Iran 3-1 in Kochi on Sunday.

Abel Ruiz (19th, 43rd minutes) struck twice for Spain before half-time while Ferran Torres (71st) got the third goal. Mali should have got their reward in the 59 minute as Doucoure's stinging shot from distance zoomed past Alvaro, hit the underside of the crossbar, bounced past the goal line and came back out. But Mali goalkeeper Youssouf Koita pulled off a superb diving save. Mali kept pressing but Spain were calm in the work all around. They have scored all kinds of goals at this World Cup and their domination of Ghana in the quarterfinals showed that it will take a quality performance to stop another West African onslaught.


African giants Mali lined up in a 4-1-4-1 formation as they locked horns with European champions Spain, who opted for a 4-2-3-1 shape.

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.

Interestingly enough, England and Spain also met in the final of this year's UEFA U-17 European Championship, which the Spaniards won on penalties following a 2-2 draw.

A total of 162 goals have been scored in this edition of the tournament so far - the third best behind UAE 2013 (172 goals) and Korea Republic 2007 (165).

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