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Meléndez salutes 'dominant' Spain

Published: Thursday 27 May 2010, 22.52CET
Coach Ginés Meléndez said the semi-final "was dominated from the start" by his Spain charges after their 3-1 win against Turkey, for whom Abdullah Ercan rued "crucial mistakes at vital moments".
by Paul Saffer
from Rheinpark Stadium
Meléndez salutes 'dominant' Spain
Jorge Ortí, Paco, Pablo, José Campaña and Víctor Álvarez salute the crowd after Spain's win ©Sportsfile
Published: Thursday 27 May 2010, 22.52CET

Meléndez salutes 'dominant' Spain

Coach Ginés Meléndez said the semi-final "was dominated from the start" by his Spain charges after their 3-1 win against Turkey, for whom Abdullah Ercan rued "crucial mistakes at vital moments".

Spain coach Ginés Meléndez was in no doubt that his team were deserving UEFA European Under-17 Championship semi-final winners against Turkey. Having lost the lead, Spain secured victory with two Paco goals after Turkey had Erhal Kartal sent off and Meléndez can now look forward to a rematch of their 2007 final win against England, when he was assistant to Juan Santisteban, while Turkey's Abdullah Ercan rued "crucial mistakes at vital moments".

Ginés Meléndez, Spain coach
First I would like to congratulate England on reaching the final and thank the Turkey players and delegation, and congratulate the Spain team. The game was dominated from the start by Spain. Generally I think Spain were better than Turkey. When Turkey equalised the match became more level but thanks to our substitution [Pablo for Jorge Ortí] we were then on top until the end. Turkey never lost their will to win even after the red card. It is important for the education of these players that even against ten they keep their motivation.

In a European Championship match, when a player is dismissed, this means you are almost out of the game. It was difficult for Turkey, we made a change and were able to dominate on the flanks. The team has a lot of trust in Paco but one player is not important, it is the work of the whole team in helping him to score. It is the second time we will play England in a final after 2007. They had a very good team then but this is the best team I've seen from England. It will be a very difficult match but Spain will fight to win. They are physically stronger than us but we have other qualities. Right now the players should enjoy their win and we will see on Sunday.

Abdullah Ercan, Turkey coach
We started badly. It continued throughout the first half and I thought about intervening earlier but kept it for the second half. In the second half we wanted to pressurise them and succeeded. We equalised but when I was thinking about another move, the red card came. We tried to control the game, but because of ourselves we let in another goal. After the penalty we couldn't do anything. We made some crucial mistakes at vital moments. It was good experience for us but we couldn't reach the final. Spain are a very technical team so it was hard to play them with one player fewer.

In general I am happy. We could have done much better than this because in some areas we had difficulties and weak points. I should have found better players in these areas but I had a short space of time and if I was able to find a new player he couldn't adapt to the team. I was right to stick with the existing players.

Related Items
The game was dominated from the start by Spain. Generally I think Spain were better than Turkey
Ginés Meléndez
We made some crucial mistakes at vital moments. It was good experience for us but we couldn't reach the final
Abdullah Ercan
Last updated: 27/05/10 23.24CET

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