Late Asensio strikes take Spain into final again
Thursday, 16 July 2015
France 0-2 Spain
Marco Asensio scored twice late on in a tight semi-final in Katerini, taking the six-time champions into yet another final.
Article top media content
• Spain edge out France in tight semi-final
• Marco Asensio breaks deadlock with two minutes left
• France goalkeeper Florian Escales finally beaten
• Asensio adds another deep into added time
• Spain play Russia's in Sunday's final in Katerini
Six-time champions Spain will have the chance to add to their UEFA European Under-19 Championship trophy haul after Marco Asensio's dramatic late double.
The sides were meeting for the fourth time at this stage of the competition, with all three previous matches going to extra time – and two to penalties. The 2015 contest looked to be heading the same way, until Asensio's solo strike with two minutes remaining finally broke French resolve. The Real Madrid player then raced clear to add a clinching second in the final seconds.
Spain enjoyed the majority of the early possession but without unduly threatening the France defence, Dani Ceballos going closest with two free-kicks – the first hit the defensive wall, and the second flashed low past Florian Escales' post. France, however, carried little threat, Sherou Guirassy touching a Kingsley Coman cross into the side-netting and Samed Kilic going close with a free-kick as half-time approached.
Guirassy was unable to turn in Abdou Diallo's header early in the second period, while at the other end it took some smart reactions from Escales to save at Borja Mayoral's feet. The goalkeeper came to France's rescue again with five minutes remaining, turning over Asensio's shot after Matías Nahuel and Borja had worked space down the Spain right.
Spain, and Asensio, would not be denied, however. Three minutes from time the midfielder collected Mouctar Diakhaby's loose pass and ran at the defence. Working himself space, his low shot across Escales found the corner of the net.
With France forced to push forward, gaps finally opened up – and in Asensio, Spain had just the man to exploit them. Five minutes into added time, the No10 raced 30 metres and prodded past Escales, and Spain were in the final again.