Spain 0-1 England
England 2-0 Spain
(Hateley 49, Gayle 51)
(agg: 3-0 to England)
Mark Hateley announced himself on the international stage in some style, scoring six goals in the knockout stages as England retained their UEFA European Under-21 Championship trophy in comprehensive fashion. Dave Sexton's side made light work of France and Italy to set up a final date with Spain, and they did not ease off as goals from Hateley, Mel Sterland and Howard Gayle earned a 3-0 aggregate victory.
Sexton had also been at the helm when England defeated West Germany 5-4 to lift the trophy two years earlier, and a repeat looked likely as Brian Stein and Paul Walsh helped guide them through the group stage. By contrast Hateley was struggling to find the net but a transfer from Coventry City FC to Portsmouth FC led to a marked upsurge in his form. In his first U21 outing after the move he scored four times as England overwhelmed France 6-1 in the quarter-final first leg. He scored the only goal of the game in the second encounter from the penalty spot, before England steered their way past Italy in the last-four to reach a second consecutive final.
Spain's progress was much rockier than their eventual opponents and they needed victory against the Netherlands in their final group game to reach the knockout rounds. Once they had qualified, though, they swept aside Poland and Yugoslavia to reach their first final at this level. Almost 30,000 filed into the Ramón-Sánchez-Pizuán stadium on 17 May. There were no goals at half-time, but right-back Sterland scored soon after the restart to silence the crowd in Seville, meaning England went into the return in Sheffield knowing a draw would suffice. Instead they pressed forward and broke the deadlock shortly after half-time through Hateley. Gayle added another to seal England's second consecutive title.
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