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Solo García goal sends Spain into semi-finals

Spain 1-0 England
Making his first start of the tournament, Francisco García settled the quarter-final with a fine individual goal after 11 minutes.

Highlights: Spain 1-0 England
Highlights: Spain 1-0 England
  • Spain overcome fellow two-time U17 EURO winners England in the quarter-finals
  • Francisco García scores a wonderful solo goal after 11 minutes
  • Spain and England met in the 2007 and 2010 finals, winning one apiece
  • England dominate the second half, forcing Spain on to the back foot
  • Santi Denia's side will play Germany in the last four at Dalga Arena on Wednesday

A brilliant individual goal by Spain's Francisco García ended England's UEFA European Under-17 Championship challenge and set up a tantalising semi-final against Germany.

There seemed little on when the midfielder, who played only 44 minutes of football during the group stage, received possession just inside the England half close to the left touchline.

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The Real Madrid player, however, embarked on a run that took him straight through the heart of Steve Cooper's side's defence. Faced with Jared Thompson, the 16-year-old calmly lifted the ball over the outrushing goalkeeper.

Front four
Spain's three in behind central striker Abel Ruiz caused England plenty of problems in the first period with their movement. Whether they drifted infield or stayed wide, García in particular, Brahim Díaz and Jordi Mboula were a menace. Their threat diminished after the break as England pressed for the equaliser.

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Staking a claim
On the bench against Italy on Thursday, García wasted little time in making an impression after his introduction, doubling La Roja's lead. Given his first start of the finals today, he took his opportunity with both hands, contributing a goal of the tournament contender.

Sterling work
Dujon Sterling has arguably been England's best player in Azerbaijan. The powerful Chelsea full-back, a UEFA Youth League winner last month, was once again a marauding presence down the right. He set up two of Reiss Nelson's three goals in Baku with surging runs to the byline.

Unlucky England
England had their moments, working themselves into some dangerous positions. Mason Mount was central to their prompting, the No10 drawing two smart stops from Ignacio Peña. Ultimately, though, they did not take their chances, the best of them falling to George Hirst, who was frustrated by the legs of Peña five minutes into the second half.

Reaction
Santi Denia, Spain coach
We saw from the first minute that England are a very good team – we expected this and knew from the off that we'd have to work in defence and attack. We gave everything we had and in the end we got the win.

Steve Cooper, England coach
It's a tough one to take. Today we've experienced the fine margins of tournament football. We could've scored three goals. We had some good chances, built from the back and I haven't got any complaints with the players or their attitude. We were playing a good team, but the best side lost.

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