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Spain secured top spot in UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship Group B ahead of section runners-up Sweden as the two already qualified sides shared the spoils in a goalless draw at the Mardan Sports Complex.
With both teams already sure of their place in the last four, their respective coaches rang the changes in their lineups. The two sets of players struggled to gain an advantage and it was only after the break that the match really came to life, but neither side was able to come out on top.
The most noteworthy moment of an extremely cagey first half came when Amanda Sampedro laid the ball off to Raquel Carreño, whose speculative shot beat goalkeeper Lina Ringshamre before crashing against the crossbar and away to safety.
Come the second period, however, and it was Sweden who created and subsequently spurned the game's next presentable opportunity. Spain No1 Dolores Gallardo misjudged a high ball which fell at the feet of Petra Andersson, but the midfielder slashed her effort wide under pressure. That chance sparked a flurry of late attacks, La Roja making significant headway through the right-flank incursions of Sampedro and the shoot-on-sight policy of striker Raquel Pinel.
Yet it was a midfielder, captain for the day Gema Gili, who will feel she ought to have won the game for Ángel Vilda's charges. Again breaking down the right, Sampedro evaded Andersson before swinging a perfect cross beyond Ringshamre and onto the head of Gili, only for the Valencia CF player to somehow nod past the post.
After Sweden had gone close in the 88th minute, when left-back Magdalena Ericsson thumped in a shot that was well saved by Gallardo, Spain had another chance to snatch the spoils deep into added time. Superb interplay between Sampedro, Nerea Pérez and Ana Troyano led to the latter firing in a shot that was bravely blocked by Jennie Nordin, with Gili following up well but blasting the loose ball over the bar.
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