Spain too good for Mali as they set-up final meeting with England

27 October, 2017, 01:05 | Author: Earnest Huff
  • Mali's Lassana N'Diaye

Spain's Real Madrid star defender Sergio Ramos will be watching the colts take on England in the Federation Internationale de Football Association U-17 World Cup final on Saturday here, sources close to the team management said. In the semi, they rode Ruiz' brace and a goal from Ferran Torres to beat Mali 3-1.

Saeid Karimi pulled a goal back for Iran, Spain held on to secure their spot in the last four and a meeting with Mali in Navi Mumbai on Wednesday.

In what was touted to be a battle between Spain's finesse and Mali's force, the Europeans swept aside their Malian opponents with classy counter-attacking football.

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. Spain were awarded a penalty when a mistake by the Mali defence saw an unmarked Cesar Gelabert storm into the penalty box before being brought down by Abdoulaye Diaby.

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The goal was his fifth of the tournament for the African champions. Mali kept pressing but Spain were calm in the work all around. Mali replied at the other end when N'Diaye hit the side netting in the ninth minute. Ruiz stepped forward to give Spain the lead. The best of those chances fell to Ruiz in the 33rd minute when his attempt beat the Mali custodian before missing the target by mere inches.

However, Brewster restored his side's advantage six minutes before halftime when he finished from inside the six-yard box, after an excellent run and cross down the right by Steven Sessegnon.

Spain had a dominant first half as they took a two-goal lead. Protests broke out from the Mali bench and the referee had to approach the bench and even flashed a card to one of the staff members. The goal was not given, and Spain went on to make it 3-0 to add to Mali's misery. Spain were also crowned champions of Europe, winning the UEFA U-17 Euros in order to qualify for the tournament.

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