Spain make sure of top spot with Iceland scalp
Sunday, 28 June 2015
Spain 2-0 Iceland
Pedro López's team confirmed pole position in Group A as goals from Patricia Guijarro and Andrea Sierra saw off the host nation.
Article top media content
• Spain seal ticket to semis with routine win over hosts
• Goals in each half from Patricia Guijarro and Andrea Sierra do trick
• Nordic nation bow out after three losses
• First in section, Spaniards play France on 1 July at Valsvöllur
Spain followed up their emphatic victory against title holders Germany by beating hosts Iceland 2-0 in Kopavogur and cementing their place in the UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship semi-finals as Group A winners.
The two-time champions were clear favourites to progress but made certain with a comfortable success over the Icelanders who duly ended their underdog campaign with pride but no points. Patricia Guijarro and Andrea Sierra were the scorers.
Spain took a 17th-minute lead when midfielder Guijarro, wearing the captain's armband after an impressive performance on matchday two, registered with a nice header after Paula Sancho had knocked on a a cross from the left flank. Pedro López's team nearly added a quick second only for Leyre Monente to roll her effort against the post with only goalkeeper Ingibjörg Valgeirsdóttir for company.
Midway through the second period the Iberian side did extend their advantage as defender Andrea Sierra nodded in following a Paula Fernández corner. That was punishment enough for Úlfar Hinriksson's outfit, who had one last let-off when Lorena Navarro blazed over after an eye-catching run from Lucía García. The Spaniards, WU17 champions in 2010 and 2011, now take on Group B runners-up France in the last four.
Pedro López, Spain
We're delighted to make it to the semi-finals as group winners. Now we've got two really important days ahead and it's an exciting semi-final against France. It was a bit of a cool affair today, maybe because of the cold and the rain, but also the change from playing afternoons to evening affected us a bit. But we worked hard and we have to maintain this intensity and not let it drop in the slightest. We have 18 great players and however far we get, it will be as an 18. They have all played their part, and that will make us stronger going into the semis. The players are all happy and we've got a great game in prospect. We've got to make sure we're in the best possible condition to take on the challenge.
Úlfar Hinriksson, Iceland
I'm not happy to see my team lose but overall defensively we did well, especially in the first half. In the second half we got tired and my girls didn't have the power to threaten the Spanish defence. If we look at all three games we have played, we have got better every time. This was probably our best game and there is no shame losing 2-0 to such a good team. Our game plan was to sit back and be tight in defence, then we were hoping to score with a fast break. We did well for most of the game but against a side like Spain that's not enough. You have to offer more going forward and can't afford to lose concentration like we did in conceding the two goals. But taking part in a tournament like this is a great experience and we will definitely benefit. The likes of Spain are fitter, faster and have better technical skills. We, however, are as strong as any team in the world when it comes to mentality and fighting spirit. We are improving step by step and we will improve more quickly by competing against the best.