Morata hat-trick eases Spain into semis

Serbia 0-4 Spain
Álvaro Morata scored a hat-trick and Juanmi added another as Spain saw off Serbia's challenge to book a spot in the last four.

Álvaro Morata celebrates after completing his hat-trick
Álvaro Morata celebrates after completing his hat-trick ©Sportsfile

Spain sealed their passage through to the semi-finals of the tenth UEFA European Under-19 Championship with a comfortable 4-0 win against Serbia.

A hat-trick from Real Madrid CF forward Álvaro Morata – taking his tournament tally to four - and another from Málaga CF's Juanmi served to deny Serbia a second successive tournament success while ensuring La Roja's progress through to the last four with a game to spare.

Winners at this level on four previous occasions, Spain enjoyed the perfect start to life in Group B with a 4-1 triumph over Belgium on Thursday. It was not all plain sailing for Ginés Meléndez's side in Chiajna, however, after Serbia's Miloš Jojić provided a centre that Spain had difficulty in clearing. It was not long before Spain did find their rhythm, though, and it was Morata who produced the opener after connecting with Gerard Deulofeu's pass before firing in.

Just two minutes later and Juanmi doubled his side's lead, feeding off Pablo Sarabia's assist before beating goalkeeper Nikola Perić at the second attempt. It got even worse for Serbia not long afterwards with the Spanish opening up a big advantage thanks to some good combination work from Sarabia and Morata, the latter finishing off the move.

Serbia forged forward in search of a goal after the restart but their efforts proved largely fruitless and it was their opponents who looked the more threatening. Sarabia struck the top of the crossbar after connecting with Jon Aurtenetxe's pass, while the pair combined again soon afterwards, the No10 this time drilling wide.

A fourth did eventually arrive and it came from the boot of Morata who, with time and space, calmly slotted in having been picked out by Sarabia. The win means that Spain will face Turkey on Tuesday knowing their task of reaching the semi-finals has already been achieved. Serbia, meanwhile, will be assured of joining them should they beat Belgium.

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