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Spain put in good showing with Israel

Spain's new coach Julen Lopetegui said: "My team played very well," after they topped qualifying round Group 11 with three wins and 12 unanswered goals, Israel also going through as runners-up.

Spain coach Julen Lopetegui during his playing days
Spain coach Julen Lopetegui during his playing days ©Getty Images

Last season's UEFA European Under-19 Championship runners-up Spain cruised through from qualifying round Group 11 along with Israel.

Spain, under new coach Julen Lopetegui after Luis Milla's promotion to the Under-21s, and Israel both defeated Armenia and hosts Lithuania in their opening two games, ensuring their places in the 30 November elite round draw even before their group decider. That was won 3-0 by Spain, Armenia beating Lithuania 1-0 for third position.

Israel had opened the mini-tournament at a sprint with Amir Agajev and Miha Dor scoring in the first five minutes of their 3-0 win against Armenia. Spain, with a generation that finished third at the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup, were themselves four up in 29 minutes against Lithuania, eventually winning 6-0 with Isco and Pablo Sarabia both scoring twice.

They then matched Israel's 3-0 win against Armenia, Álvaro Morata's two early goals added to by Sarabia. Ben Ben-Yair's 28th-minute goal gave Israel victory against Lithuania and settled the two elite round berths. In the decider Sarabia opened the scoring for Spain against Israel before two late Isco goals made it 3-0 and 12 without reply for Lopetegui's team, aiming to clinch their nation's fifth U19 title, though a first since 2007.

Lopetegui said: "I am happy because my team played very well in this mini-tournament. We scored a lot of goals and I think the boys are satisfied. I do not want to single out an individual because the team is more important. We have really good players but first and foremost they are a team."

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