Spain outmuscle Slovakia to win Group 11

Spain battled back to beat Slovakia 3-1 and take top spot in qualifying round Group 11, but both sides will be in the draw for the elite round on 3 December.

Spain captain Daniel Villanueva in action against Slovakia
©Lukáš Kendra

Spain and Slovakia ensured their places in the UEFA European Under-17 Championship elite round after beating both Lithuania and Luxembourg in qualifying round Group 11.

Full results and standings

  • Hosts Slovakia were made to work in their opener by Luxembourg, winning 1-0 through Ľubomír Tupta's late goal.
  • Spain had to come from behind to beat Lithuania 2-1 thanks to captain Carles Aleña's 50th-minute winner.
  • Tupta struck twice two days later as Slovakia defeated Lithuania 2-0.
  • Spain ensured progress for themselves and Slovakia with a 3-0 win against Luxembourg.
  • José Luis Zalazar, who equalised for Spain against Lithuania, added two more versus Luxembourg.
  • Slovakia took early lead against Spain on matchday three after Marek Tešlár diverted Kamil Jašurek's cross into the net.
  • Francisco J Villalba's header was then diverted into his own net by Slovakia's Branislav Šušolík.
  • Oscar Arnaiz and Daniel Villaneuva both scored fine second-half goals as Spain's class showed.
  • Luxembourg beat Lithuania 3-0 to secure third place in the section.

Reaction:
Santi Denia, Spain coach
We are happy to finish top, but more importantly happy to have qualified. All three games have been difficult. Lithuania tested us with a solid defensive block, Luxembourg surprised us with high pressing and Slovakia worked very hard. These matches have shown us what we need to do to improve in the elite round.

Ladislav Pecko, Slovakia coach
We achieved our goal and qualified for the next phase. We were a bit nervous in the first game against Luxembourg, but we managed to improve game by game. Our main target is to get the players ready for the U19, U21 and senior national teams. These boys need difficult matches like the one against Spain. We are happy we will play another set of games in the elite round, from which we can learn a lot. Results are good, but they are not the most important thing at this level.

Through to elite round
Group 1: Scotland, Republic of Ireland
Group 2:
Poland, Georgia
Group 3:
Italy, Iceland
Group 4:
France, England (holders)
Group 5:
Sweden, Greece
Group 6:
Portugal, Slovenia
Group 7: Croatia, Hungary
Group 8: Netherlands, Serbia
Group 9: Austria, Norway
Group 10: Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Group 11: Spain, Slovakia
Group 12: Czech Republic, Romania
Group 13: Russia, Belarus
Bye: Germany
TBC: 5 best third-placed teams

Draw: 10.40CET, 3 December, involving 32 sides, of which 15 will join Bulgaria in the finals.

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