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Joy for Spain and Santisteban

Published: Saturday 8 March 2003, 2.52CET
Spain have booked their place in the UEFA European Under-17 Championship finals.
Published: Saturday 8 March 2003, 2.52CET

Joy for Spain and Santisteban

Spain have booked their place in the UEFA European Under-17 Championship finals.
Spain booked their place in the UEFA European Under-17 Championship finals on Friday night by beating France 2-0 in the Group 1 mini-tournament decider in Alcoi.

Marin opener
Both sides went into the game with 100 per cent records but the Spanish hosts knew that a win was essential to qualify given France's superior goal difference - and Juan Santisteban's side did not let down the 4,000 plus fans who gathered for the crucial showdown. José Jurado Marín scored the opener in injury time of the first half and Javier García Fernández made sure of victory with just five minutes remaining.

Wales win thriller
In the night's other game Wales clinched third place in the group and condemned Bulgaria to fourth with a thrilling 4-2 win. The Welsh trailed 1-0 after just seven minutes but goals from Matthew Roberts, Craig Davies, Ryan Morgan and Matthew Collins completed a fine comeback. 

Opening games
Earlier in the week the opening games of the tournament in Alginet saw France sweep Wales aside 7-0 and Spain beat Bulgaria 3-0. The French were 4-0 up within 23 minutes thanks to a hat-trick from Samir Bertin D'Avesnes and a strike from Yohan Gourcuff. Franck Dja Djedje, Mourad Benhamida and Rudy Carlier added further goals after the interval.

Spain step it up
Meanwhile, Spain were being held 0-0 at half-time by Bulgaria but stepped up the pace after the interval to run out comfortable 3-0 winners, thanks to a goal from José Cases Hernández and two from David Rodriguez.

Two goals in ten minutes
The second round of games saw France move 2-0 up against Bulgaria after just ten minutes in Onteniente courtesy of a double strike from Rudy Carlier. Thereafter a determined Bulgarian side rallied well and there were no further goals.

Advantage doubled
Later the same evening, Spain overcame Wales 3-0 to set up that final match showdown. José Jurado Marín opening the scoring after just nine minutes. David Rodriguez doubled the advantage with his third goal of the tournament on 38 minutes before José Cases Hernández registered his second of the week to wrap up a comfortable win.

Final game
Spain now know that they will be joining hosts Portugal in the final tournament which runs from 7-17 May. The other six qualifiers will be determined during further mini-tournaments in the coming weeks.

Last updated: 10/03/03 16.29CET

http://www.uefa.com/under17/news/newsid=57029.html#joy+spain+santisteban