Spain see off Portugal for last finals berth
Wednesday, 3 June 2015
Having missed out on the 2014 finals, six-time champions Spain are back for this summer's tournament after clinching Group 1 with a 4-0 defeat of Portugal.
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Spain have returned to the UEFA European Under-19 Championship after a one-year absence, easing past neighbours Portugal to finish first in Group 1 and claim the last place in this summer's final tournament in Greece.
The teams went into the final round of matches with six-time winners Spain only needing a point to progress due to their superior goal difference. In the event, first-half goals from RCD Espanyol's Aaron Caricol and Real Madrid Castilla's Borja Mayoral put Luis de la Fuente 's side in complete command with further goals from Marco Asensio and Alfonso Pedraza wrapping up a third straight win.
Asensio, Mayoral and Pedraza had also been on target in both the 4-1 opening day win against Georgia and the 5-0 success against Turkey that followed, Asensio and Pedraza getting one in each game and Mayoral one against Georgia and two against Turkey. Jesús Vallejo also found the net in the first two matches as Spain notched 13 goals overall – the highest total of the 28 sides in the elite round – with fellow finals qualifiers Russia, Netherlands and France matching their one goal against.
Portugal had won all six qualifying round fixtures and also defeated Turkey 6-1 and Georgia 3-2 with SL Benfica midfielder Pedro Rodrigues scoring three goals and six other players managing two apiece. Spain, however, were too strong for last season's runners-up and take their place in the draw at 16.00CET in Katerini on Tuesday, streamed live on UEFA.com.
Qualified teams: Greece (hosts), Spain, Germany (holders), Russia, Netherlands, Ukraine, Austria, France
Final tournament: 6-19 July