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Adrián double kick-starts Spain challenge

Published: Wednesday 15 June 2011, 19.55CET
Spain climbed above the Czech Republic in Group B after a goal in each half from striker Adrián at the Viborg Stadion ended Jakub Dovalil's team's 11-game unbeaten sequence.
by Patrick Hart
from Viborg Stadion

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Match statistics

Czech RepublicSpain

Goals scored0
Attempts on target1
Attempts off target5
Fouls committed31
Yellow cards3
Red Cards0


Group B(Host country: Denmark)

1Spain Spain21103124
2Czech Republic Czech Republic210123-13
3England England20201102
4Ukraine Ukraine201112-11


P: Played   
W: Won   
D: Drawn   
L: Lost   
F: For   
A: Against   
+/-: Goal difference   
Last updated: 30/11/2017 14:56 CET
Published: Wednesday 15 June 2011, 19.55CET

Adrián double kick-starts Spain challenge

Spain climbed above the Czech Republic in Group B after a goal in each half from striker Adrián at the Viborg Stadion ended Jakub Dovalil's team's 11-game unbeaten sequence.

Spain found the cutting edge to complement their clever play as an Adrián double earned a 2-0 victory over Group B's only previous winners, the Czech Republic.

Adrián applied a lethal finish to Juan Mata passes in either half to lift Luis Milla's team a point above the Czechs in the section with one game remaining. Playing in a town where Danish kings were historically crowned, and against opponents unbeaten in 11 matches, the Spanish claim to the UEFA European Under-21 Championship title looked a strong one.

Milla had brought Iker Muniain, an Athletic Club talisman at 18, into the side in left midfield as he looked for the clinical touch which eluded his charges in their opening 1-1 draw against England. The teenager was immediately at the heart of clever movement which enabled Ander Herrera to tease a low ball across the six-metre box for Mata. His attempted finish was blocked out by defender Jan Lecjaks and goalkeeper Tomáš Vaclík.

With both teams working overtime to close the other down, room to manoeuvre was initially at a premium in Viborg. Spanish frustration resulted in yellow cards for Javi Martínez and Mata. Yet the No10's next contribution was an entirely positive one as he dinked the ball through for Adrián to finish smartly from inside the penalty area.

It was an altogether happier moment for the forward than the relegation he suffered recently with RC Deportivo La Coruña. When Mata very nearly slipped a second goal under Vaclík from Didac Vila Rosello's cross, the goalkeeper's trailing leg fortuitously smothered the danger.

Whatever possession the Czech Republic did have came to nothing until, on the brink of half-time, Ondřej Čelůstka advanced up the right and centred for Tomáš Pekhart – the qualifying competition's nine-goal top scorer – who rifled his shot over. Unbeaten in that qualification process, Jakub Dovalil's side certainly had no cause to feel inferior, yet they were struggling to build on the platform of their weekend victory over Ukraine.

Nor were the omens good for a second-half turnaround, with Spain enjoying four wins and a draw from the countries' five previous U21 meetings. That negative spectre loomed larger still moments after the restart as Mata surged from the centre circle and released Adrián; this time the No7 turned back inside Ondřej Mazuch before stroking Spain's second goal in off the post.

If another Čelůstka delivery required a desperate clearance from Martín Montoya, and his late header elicited a diving save from David de Gea, those were minor detail in the bigger picture of the Czech Republic's first defeat since June 2009. Spain, on this evidence, may take some stopping.

Last updated: 07/12/13 3.04CET