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Oriol puts Spain on the brink again

Spain 3-2 Turkey
The four-time champions are a win away from the finals again after Oriol Romeu finally saw off a spirited effort from the Group 4 hosts.

Spain's Oriol Romeu in action against Turkey
Spain's Oriol Romeu in action against Turkey ©Sportsfile

Spain are on course to reach the UEFA European Under-19 Championship finals again as they overcame a spirited effort from Group 4 hosts Turkey in an eventual game in Eskisehir.

Spain coach Luis Milla made four changes from Wednesday's opening draw with Norway for their meeting with a side who won their first game, and was rewarded within nine minutes, Daniel Pacheco crossing from the left for Keko to control and shoot in. The lead proved short-lived, Özgür Çek squaring for captain Necip Uysal to apply a simple finish and level the scores in the 14th minute, but Spain regained the lead a minute before half-time, Thiago Alcántara heading in another fine Pacheco cross from the left wing.

Again Turkey's response was swift, Muhammet Demir coming off the bench at half-time – the influential Emre Çolak having to be replaced due to injury – to level within three minutes, converting Ali Kuçik's assist. Spain struck the decisive blow in the 54th minute, however, Oriol Romeu heading in what proved to be the winner, although Rochina could have made the final margin more comfortable only to be denied by Özkan Karabulut in the closing stages. Four-time winners Spain will therefore qualify for the finals again should they defeat Azerbaijan on Monday, but if they drop points Turkey will pip them by beating Norway.

Luis Milla, the Spain coach, said: "During the first half an hour Turkey were better than us, putting us under a lot of pressure. However, our team talk at half-time was very influential. I told them to pass the ball more. We controlled the game with our attacks and balls lofted in behind the Turkish defence."