Ten goals not enough for Spain

San Marino 1-10 Spain Spain "can look to the future with optimism" despite missing out on the UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-offs.

Two-time UEFA European Under-21 Championships winners Spain saw their hopes of securing a third crown ended, despite securing a 10-1 win against Group 7 minnows San Marino in Serravalle.

No luck
Iñaki Sáez's side needed Serbia and Montenegro to drop points in their final qualifier to have any hope of stealing second place in the group, and a place in the play-offs for next year's finals, but a 5-1 win for the former Yugoslav republic against Bosnia-Herzegovina made Spain's victory irrelevant.

Two hat-tricks
Spain had put San Marino to the sword, with Fernando Llorente and Roberto Soldado both scoring hat-tricks, Silva scoring twice and Davide Simoncini scoring an own goal after Andrés Iniesta had opened their account with a ninth-minute penalty. Matteo Valli's goal was the Sammarinese's sole response.

Sáez aggrieved
None the less, former senior team coach Sáez was left to rue his side's earlier 1-0 defeats in Serbia and Montenegro and group winners Belgium, saying: "We have lost a great opportunity - not today, when we worked hard and did some good things, but when we failed in those two key games."

Villár supportive
Spanish Football Federation president Angel Maria Villár refused to be too downhearted, adding: "We have had a lot of success [at youth level] but as in all things we have good times and bad but we are still full of hope because Spain have a great production line and we can look to the future with optimism."