Spain blanks Netherlands, both join Italy, Norway in semis

Spain will play Norway in the first semifinal in Netanya, with Italy to square off with the Netherlands later in Petah Tikva.

By
June 12, 2013 23:40
1 minute read.
Spanish team celebrates goal against Netherlands

Spanish team celebrates goal against Netherlands 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Defending-champion Spain will enter the European Under-21 Championship semifinals as the only team with a perfect record after defeating the Netherlands 3-0 in Petah Tikva on Wednesday to win Group B.

Both Spain and the Netherlands entered Wednesday knowing they had already secured their place in the last four, with the Dutch only needing a draw to ensure they finish in first place and face Norway in Saturday’s semis.

However, Spain seemed far more determined to avoid Italy in the semis and claimed a comfortable victory to leapfrog the Netherlands.

As a result, Spain will play Norway in the first semifinal on Saturday in Netanya, with Italy to square off with the Netherlands later in the evening at Moshava Stadium in Petah Tikva.

Spain had toiled to wins in its first two group games, requiring a late goal by Alvaro Morata in each of the matches against Russia and Germany to claim 1-0 victories.

However, starting for the first time in the tournament, Morata waited just 26 minutes to find the back of the net on Wednesday after some unselfish play by Pablo Sarabia.

Four minutes later, the Netherlands, which changed its entire starting lineup, squandered a golden opportunity to level the score, with Spain and Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea denying Mike van der Hoorn from point-blank range.

Spain punished the Dutch two minutes later, doubling its advantage through manof- the-match Isco and Alvaro Vazquez completed the scoring in the 90th minute.

Also Wednesday, Germany ensured it ended the tournament on a sweet note, defeating Russia 2-1 after both teams lost their first two matches. Alan Dzagoev (22) gave Russia the lead, with Patrick Herrmann (34) and Sebastian Rudy (69) scoring for the Germans.


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