Spain set up a UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ qualifying Group 1 decider at home to England on 2 October with a comfortable win in Northern Ireland.
Erika Vázquez's goals on eight and ten minutes were added to late on by Verónica Boquete to move Spain level on points with England, who won their Shrewsbury meeting 1-0 in November. Spain know that if they overturn that head-to-head inferiority in their home meeting they will qualify direct for the finals in Finland, while if the Czech Republic avoid defeat against England early that week, any victory will be suffice for first place.
Having beaten the Czech Republic 4-1 earlier this month to move up into second place, Spain's morale was high against a team without a point on their return to the top level of women's football. And soon Erika had the visitors in control, turning in a loose ball after a free-kick and then chasing an Ana Romero ball before producing a fine finish.
Ashley Hutton hit the crossbar for Northern Ireland on 25 minutes but Spain remained on top and were producing some fine displays of skill. Eighteen minutes from the end Itziar Gurrutxaga combined with Verónica for Spain's third goal while Erika twice came close to a hat-trick.