Scorer of the winning goal in the final she may have been, but that strike merely capped Alba Pomares's two dynamic performances at the 2011 UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship finals.
Pomares certainly stood out for her moment of brilliance in the competition's deciding match when, with virtually the last kick of the final, she unleashed a dipping strike over Solène Durand from the edge of the area. But that winning goal was merely the icing on the cake for a 15-year-old who gave outstanding contributions in both the final and the semi-final.
In the 4-0 victory against Iceland she created all three of Spain's goals from open play and remained menacingly enterprising from the first minute until the last, with her dribbling, pass selection and willingness to shoot.
In a tournament that boasted plenty of talent in the centre of midfield, it was Pomares's skilful and dynamic wing-play that caught the eye, especially when on the left during the opening halves of the semi-final and final. She was also effective down the right, which is where she finished in the closing stages of the showpiece.
It was not chance that Pomares saw so much of the ball. Her positional sense allowed her to receive plenty of passes from her team-mates, as confirmed by Gema Gili. "I heard Alba shout to me," said the Spain captain, describing the build-up to Pomares's decisive goal. "Confident of where she would be, I back-heeled the ball to her without looking."
Jorge Vilda was keen to stress that his side's triumph was down to a collective effort from the whole team, but the Spain coach agreed that Pomares had an excellent tournament. "Alba is only 15 years old but is mature for her age," he said. "Physically, she's quite small but we're interested in players for their skill, not so much for their physicality, and Alba has plenty of skill. She's a very good competitor and has a bright future ahead of her."
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