Stylish Spain brush aside champions Germany

Germany 0-4 SpainThe title holders had no answer to Lucía García's 28-minute hat-trick as Spain won the sequel to last term's final and moved top of Group A.

Lucía García (No17) is mobbed after netting the first of her three goals
©Sportsfile

Spain avenge last season's final defeat with convincing victory
Lucía García takes tournament tally to four with first-half treble
Germay suffer repeat of 2013/14 group loss to Spaniards
Next up: Germany v England, Spain v Iceland on Sunday

Spain reigned supreme in the battle of the European Women's Under-17 champions competing here in Iceland, the two-time winners overwhelming Germany 4-0 in Group A.

The matchday two encounter in Akranas was a sequel to the 2013/14 final when the northern European team claimed their fourth WU17 title, but this game belonged to Spain who stamped their authority with a first-half hat-trick from centre-forward Lucía García. Aitana Bonmati's last-gasp effort simply iced the cake.

Spain seized the initiative when Patricia Guijarro floated a ball into the box which García flicked over goalkeeper Nadine Winckler. However, the goal also owed to little No10 Maite Oroz doggedly winning a duel with a more formidable opponent. Oroz had captained Pedro López’s side on Monday but here the armband was worn by Bonmati. Ominously for Germany, Bonmati had scored twice against Anouschka Bernhard's team in a 4-0 Spanish group stage success last season – with Guijarro also registering in the subsequent final, a 1-1 draw followed by Germany's penalties triumph.

Come the 21st-minute mark Guijarro span between German markers and bettered that piece of artistry with a perfect pass for García who again finished high over Winckler. Spain's early possession had paid dividends. Giulia Gwinn grazed a Spanish post after pouncing on goalkeeper Amaia Peña's poor pass and Janina Minge's effort was blocked on the line, but Spain's first-half control was capped by García's volley from left-winger Carmen Menayo's pull-back.

Willing attacker Stefanie Sanders offered Germany hope of a consolation, drawing a notable block from Laia Aleixandri. Gwinn and Minge also threatened to deny Peña a clean sheet, yet there would be no spoiling Spain's day and Bonmati rolled in a stoppage-time fourth from Lorena Navarro's assist. Bernhard's side must recover fast as they face England next.

Anouschka Bernhard, Germany
We are disappointed. From the beginning Spain were really good, especially in the one-v-one situations. We didn't play well, whereas they played very well. I got a feeling my players were a bit afraid of Spain after a few minutes, I don't know why, but that's football – losing is part of the game and we have to learn our lesson and look forward now. Our situation hasn't changed a lot. Everything's still in our hands so we have to prepare well for England. You can lose one game in a tournament and still be the winner in the end, but right now we are disappointed. It's hard because 4-0 is a clear result for Spain, but I have to say we played much better in the second half so we'll build from there.

Pedro López, Spain
The first half was really good, we played very well. Playing against Germany is always a big challenge and the girls were really up for it today. They executed the game plan and it was almost a perfect first half from us. Everything worked out well for us. There were nice moves, good passing, good control of the game, and we played some attractive football out there. I was a bit surprised even – it went better than expected! I'd also like to give credit to Germany who are a great team, with their work-rate, structure and physical qualities.

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