Slick Spain advance to Under-19 final

Spain 5-0 Republic of Ireland
The four-time winners reached yet another UEFA European Under-19 Championship final, Álvaro Morata scoring twice in a convincing display.

Spain advanced to their sixth UEFA European Under-19 Championship final as a clinical attacking display proved too much for the Republic of Ireland in Chiajna.

Ginés Meléndez's side were two goals to the good at half-time thanks to fine strikes from Gerard Deulofeu and Pablo Sarabia, Juanmi adding a third shortly after the restart. Álvaro Morata then took his tournament tally to six goals with a late double, setting up a final meeting with the Czech Republic on Monday.

Featuring seven changes to the team that lost 3-0 in their last Group B encounter against Turkey, Spain looked to return to the form that saw them produce eight goals in their opening two encounters. Although boasting most of the early possession they struggled to create a clear opening until Sergi Gómez struck the outside of a post with a low free-kick in the 20th minute.

Ireland responded with a couple of wayward efforts from Samir Carruthers but found themselves behind in the 27th minute after Deulofeu's fantastic strike from distance arced away from Aaron McCarey and inside the far post.

It almost got worse for Paul Doolin's men less than a minute later when the goalscorer met Sarabia's cutback only to shoot just over. Spain continued to press and were awarded an indirect free-kick after McCarey failed to release the ball in time. The Wolverhampton Wanderers FC goalkeeper redeemed himself, though, with a flying stop from Sarabia's set piece.

McCarey was helpless again five minutes before the break, however, another spectacular strike doubling Spain's advantage as Sarabia span to unleash a left-footed drive that found the corner of the net. The Spanish captain was involved again shortly afterwards, diverting Jon Aurtenetxe's centre narrowly wide.

Any hopes Ireland had of continuing their Romanian adventure faded shortly after the restart when Deulofeu's pass from the left picked out Juanmi to finish off the underside of the crossbar. The four-time winners were still hungry for more and it was four 11 minutes from time when Morata rounded McCarey and slotted in after collecting Juanmi's through pass.

Morata ensured Spain would match their 5-0 margin against Austria in the 2006 semi-finals with a crowning fifth goal from the penalty spot. Jeffrey Hendrick handled Ignasi Miquel's chipped pass to concede the spot kick and Spain's No7 made no mistake, rounding off a memorable night.

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