Vilda delighted by 'perfect' Spain performance
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Coach Jorge Vilda described Spain's showing against Iceland as "an excellent way to win a semi-final" while opposite number Thorlákur Árnason admitted his side lost their nerve.
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Spain coach Jorge Vilda hailed the maturity of his side after the La Rojita cruised past Iceland to reach Sunday's UEFA European Under-17 Championship final.
Two goals by Alexia Putellas following Marina Garcia's 12th-minute opener put the holders 3-0 up at half-time and although they eased off slightly in the second half, a Glódís Perla Viggosdóttir own goal 13 minutes from time ensured the scoreline fully reflected the dominance of a side who triumphed at last summer's Colovray Stadium showpiece and finished third at the FIFA 2010 U-17 World Cup finals.
Jorge Vilda, Spain Coach
I don't know if it was a perfect performance – we dropped off a little in the second half. It was certainly an excellent way to win a semi-final. There are some players in the team who have 25 caps already and there are those who played in last year's finals and at the [FIFA U-17] World Cup. That experience is serving them well in European and international competition.
Ivana Andrés was great in helping to prevent Iceland from getting forward. Marina García was also commanding in the centre of the park, but rather than singling out individuals, it was how the team played as a unit that impressed me most. The team can enjoy today's win but there are only two days between now and the final so we'll have to rest well and stay focused for what should be a great game.
Thorlákur Árnason, Iceland coach
We're very disappointed. Tactics don't matter when nobody is capable of getting or keeping hold of the ball, like us in the first half. There is no question that the occasion got to the players - the TV cameras, the atmosphere, everything. We fought hard in the second half and our tactics were OK, but we never got into the game enough to play good football.
It was just about pride in the second half. Obviously we've been playing good football [in qualifying] but today we didn't pass the ball, we didn't hold the ball, so I just said to the players: "Don't let the opponents decide what you're going to do." It was better in the second half, but by then it was already all over. Of course, we were up against a really good football team, the best team we've played, but we didn't give them a game and that was disappointing.