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Spain down Oranje to set up France date

Netherlands 2-3 Spain
Luis de la Fuente's side will meet France in the semi-finals after recovering to beat and eliminate the Netherlands.

Spain celebrate their first goal at the Alytus Stadium
Spain celebrate their first goal at the Alytus Stadium ©Sportsfile

Defending champions Spain are through to the UEFA European Under-19 semi-finals after coming from behind to defeat the Netherlands in Alytus.

Luis de la Fuente's side went behind in the 36th minute with Clint Leemens scoring but the six-time winners responded after the break through Sandro Ramírez's second of the tournament and further strikes by Álvaro Vadillo and Fede Vico. Anass Achahbar reduced the arrears with a late penalty but by then the Netherlands' fate had been sealed. 

Prior to the encounter, the Oranje knew they could make up for the disappointment of a 4-1 reverse in their previous encounter against Portugal by qualifying for a first U19 semi-final. Mimoun Mahi provided a spark to an otherwise quiet opening with a shot wide of the target in the 13th minute but team-mate Clint Leemens would prove less profligate as the half progressed. With Spain goalkeeper Rubén Blanco parrying Yassine Ayoub's initial effort, Leemens was quickest to react to send the loose ball home.

With Portugal in the lead against Lithuania in the group's other game, De la Fuente's men were stung into action, fearing a second concession that would potentially leave them third in the standings. His team's match winner in the opening game against their Iberian neighbours, Spain's Sandro burst through before powering a shot at goal which Mickey van der Hart did well to save. 

Spain increased the pressure and their fears were eventually assuaged when José Gaya's excellent cross from the left was headed in by Sandro. The holders subsequently doubled the lead with Vadillo scoring from close range. It was to get worse for the Netherlands when Fede Vico found space before driving a left-footed shot into the corner.

Their hopes all but extinguished, the Oranje nonetheless claimed a consolation when Achahbar slotted in from the penalty spot after Borja López handled.

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