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Spain bounced back from a penalty shoot-out defeat by Sweden on Tuesday with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Belgium to claim third place in the 2012/13 UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship.
Jorge Vilda's side, whose semi-final loss denied them the chance to compete for a record-equalling third U17 success, were always on top against Belgium but only took the lead midway through the first half thanks to a Laura Baetens own goal. Nahikari Garcia doubled Spain's advantage and captain Maria Caldentey added a third in added time. Patricia Guijarro completed the scoring after the break.
Spain made two changes to the team that lost to Sweden, while Belgium decided to give some of the players that did not feature in the reverse against Poland some valuable tournament experience. Belgium struggled to get a handle on their opponents' crisp passing and fluid movement, but Spain had to wait until the 21st minute to make their class tell. Their opener came via a corner which was flighted into a crowded penalty area and Baetens inadvertedly headed into her own net.
Spain were having particular joy down their left, where Andrea Sánchez was finding space to run at the Belgium defence, and it was from that wing that they increased their lead. Caldentey reached the byline and cut the ball back for Garcia to score her second goal of the tournament with a smart finish at the near post.
Having set up the second, Caldentey then scored Spain's third at the end of the first half. The forward was first to react when Diede Lemey dropped a cross. The second period continued in much the same fashion as the first, with Guijarro registering a fourth as Spain put down a marker for the future with some exquisite football.
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