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Perfect Spain reach second qualifying round

"We are happy we qualified and won all three games," said Jorge Vilda after Spain beat Poland 3-0 to complete their perfect Group 11 record and reach the second qualifying round.

Jorge Vilda's Spain are through to the second qualifying round
Jorge Vilda's Spain are through to the second qualifying round ©Verity Harrison

Spain are the second team through to the UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship second qualifying round following a 3-0 win against Poland.

Jorge Vilda's team dominated Group 11 of the first qualifying round in Slovakia, scoring 15 goals and conceding none to live up to their tag as favourites in emphatic fashion. Nuria Garrote, Andrea Esteban and Sandra Hernández all scored twice as Spain opened their campaign with an 8-0 triumph over the Faroe Islands.

Esteban then struck a hat-trick as Spain continued to convince with a 4-0 win against Slovakia, but Poland were also emphatic victors in their opening two fixtures to set up a crucial encounter on the final matchday. Two goals from Nahikari Garcia and one from María Caldentey earned Spain victory, maintained their perfect record and ensured they finished at the summit.

"We are happy we qualified and won all three games," said Vilda. "That was our plan. Poland played very well, they defended wisely and had two chances to equalise when it was 1-0 to us. However, we were the better team today and we deserved this victory."

For Poland, there is an anxious wait to see if they can earn a best runners-up route into the next round. "Spain were the hot favourites to advance in first spot, being two-time European champions," said coach Zbigniew Witkowski. "We played well against Slovakia, we could have scored more goals, which might be crucial in the fight to be one of the best second-placed teams. We played well against Spain, had our chances to level the score, and we have nothing to be ashamed of."

Mini-tournament hosts Slovenia, meanwhile, concluded with a 4-1 success against the Faroes to finish third in the section. "Our girls are not yet on the physical and mental level to compete with the top European countries in this age category," said coach Branislav Petrović.

The draw for the second qualifying round takes place on 20 November.