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Too little too late for Spain

Published: Tuesday 23 June 2009, 0.25CET
Finland 0-2 Spain
Marc Torrejón and Pedro León earned Spain a first Group B win but Germany's draw with England meant their triumph proved in vain.
by John Atkin
from Gamla Ullevi

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Match statistics

FinlandSpain

Goals scored0
2
Attempts on target2
 
14
Attempts off target8
 
8
Corners3
 
10
Fouls committed23
 
16
Yellow cards2
 
2
Red Cards0
 
0

Standings

Group B(Host country: Sweden)

TeamsPWDLFA+/-Pts
England England32105237
Germany Germany31203125
Spain Spain31112204
Finland Finland300316-50
Last updated: 19/04/2013 11:25 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
W: Won   
D: Drawn   
L: Lost   
F: For   
A: Against   
+/-: Goal difference   
Published: Tuesday 23 June 2009, 0.25CET

Too little too late for Spain

Finland 0-2 Spain
Marc Torrejón and Pedro León earned Spain a first Group B win but Germany's draw with England meant their triumph proved in vain.

Spain's UEFA European Under-21 Championship aspirations were ended at the Gamla Ullevi where an impressive, battling 2-0 victory against already-eliminated Finland came too late to revive their challenge.

Set-pieces
Spain's hopes of pipping Germany to Group B's remaining semi-final place were always slender. They needed to beat Finland, hope Germany lost to England and engineer a four-goal swing to have any chance of progressing – instead a draw in the section's other game proved their downfall. Spain went down with a fight, however, twice exposing Finland's weakness at set-plays. First, on 29 minutes, Marc Torrejón capitalised on the defence's failure to clear their lines to fire in. Then Pedro León, replacing Bojan Krkić in the starting XI, swerved in a powerful free-kick to make it two. Spain went in search of more, but even had they scored ten, it would ultimately have made no difference.

Jurado loss
Finland coach Markku Kanerva had spent a significant part of the pre-match warm-up giving a pep talk to defensive lynchpin Tuomo Turunen, perhaps in expectation of a Spanish onslaught. It did not arrive. Instead it was Suomi who made the early running, spraying the ball around with composure, though as has become familiar during this tournament they failed to capitalise on their ascendency. Spain came into the game, the 18th-minute loss of the fluent José Manuel Jurado to an ankle injury failing to hamper them, as the passes, until then ugly and awry, became cute, decisive.

End product
Spain's Ciceronian style, all elegance and free-flow, has been evident during these finals in fits and starts but without the defining end product. They did not make that mistake here. With 29 minutes on the clock Juan Ramón López Caro's team earned a free-kick on the right flank. Esteban Granero swung it in, and though Raúl García's flick failed to find its way past Mehmet Hetemaj, the Finland No8 could only divert it into the path of Torrejón who swept in Spain's first goals of these finals. A second almost came moments later but Jukka Lehtovaara – one of four players given their first finals start in Gothenburg – tipped Pedro León's effort over.

Xisco miss
The goalkeeper came to the rescue again before half-time when Mario Suárez got his head to a free-kick, though he could do nothing to keep out a more direct set-piece from Pedro León ten minutes after the restart following a foul on García. It should have been 3-0 just after the hour as Spain began to drive forward with real purpose but Xisco somehow contrived to spear Nacho Monreal's smart low cross over from all of a metre. The attacking bent came at a cost as gaps began to appear at the back but Finland, and particularly half-time substitute Berat Sadik, were unable to capitalise as Sergio Asenjo barely worked up a sweat. Lehtovaara was not afforded such luxury. His save to deny substitute Jonathan Pereira from distance was regulation; his reaction stop to keep out García from close range was brilliant. Granero did beat the 21-year-old from the edge of the box with nine minutes remaining, only to be denied by the upright, though it mattered not in the final reckoning.

Last updated: 27/03/13 5.59CET

http://www.uefa.com/under21/season=2009/matches/round=15086/match=304495/postmatch/report/index.html#too+little+late+spain

Lineups

Finland

Finland

Spain

Spain

23
LehtovaaraJukka Lehtovaara (GK)
13
Sergio AsenjoSergio Asenjo (GK)
2
JalastoVille Jalasto
3
MonrealNacho Monreal
3
RaitalaJukka Raitala
5
TorrejónMarc Torrejón
Goal29
4
Portin Jonas Portin
8
Raúl GarcíaRaúl García (C)
Yellow Card25
5
TurunenTuomo Turunen
10
JuradoJosé Manuel Jurado
Substitution21
6
SparvTim Sparv (C)
Substitution38
11
GraneroEsteban Granero
Substitution83
7
HämäläinenKasper Hämäläinen
12
AzpilicuetaCésar Azpilicueta
Yellow Card90+1
8
M. HetemajMehmet Hetemaj
Yellow Card18
16
MarcanoIván Marcano
16
P. HetemajPerparim Hetemaj
Yellow Card90+2
18
Mario SuárezMario Suárez
17
HakolaJuha Hakola
Substitution76
19
XiscoXisco
20
PukkiTeemu Pukki
Substitution46
22
Pedro LeónPedro León
Goal55
Substitution68

Substitutes

1
JaakkolaAnssi Jaakkola (GK)
1
RobertoRoberto (GK)
12
MasalinJon Masalin (GK)
23
AdánAntonio Adán (GK)
9
SadikBerat Sadik
Substitution46
2
Miguel TorresMiguel Torres
10
OtaruNicholas Otaru
4
Javi GarcíaJavi García
11
ParikkaJarno Parikka
6
Javi MartínezJavi Martínez
13
KärkkäinenPyry Kärkkäinen
Substitution76
7
SisiSisi
Substitution21
14
AhoJoni Aho
9
Bojan KrkićBojan Krkić
15
ÄijäläIlari Äijälä
14
Sergio SánchezSergio Sánchez
18
VasaraJussi Vasara
Substitution38
15
ChicoChico
19
KokkoAleksandr Kokko
17
CapelDiego Capel
Substitution83
21
ViljanenPetri Viljanen
20
Jonathan PereiraJonathan Pereira
Substitution68
22
ToivioJoona Toivio
21
Adrián LópezAdrián López

Coach

Markku Tapio Kanerva (FIN) Juan Ramon Lopez Caro (ESP)

Referee

Björn Kuipers (NED)

Assistant referees

Nissan Davidy (ISR), Derek Rose (SCO)

Fourth official

Daniel Stålhammar (SWE)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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