Spain and Belgium aim for positive finish
Thursday, 27 June 2013
Spain and Belgium meet in the third-place play-off in the 2013 UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship with both sides reflecting on successful campaigns.
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Before Friday's final of the UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship, Spain and Belgium will battle it out for third place with both sides aiming to end the tournament on a positive note.
Spain started the final competition on Tuesday as favourites, having won twice before in Nyon in 2010 and 2011, but their bid for a record-equalling third crown was halted by Sweden in the semi-finals. Belgium, meanwhile, can look back on a positive overall campaign that resulted in a first finals appearance.
Midfielder Shayna Raekelboom said: "We know that it is over for us, but I think it is a great thing that we made it this far. We did our best to get here for the first time and we should be very happy. We haven't lost everything yet, we can still play for third place and we will do our best to achieve that. Spain are a great team, it will be awesome to play against them, but we can do it, we also know how to play football."
"We'll prepare in terms of a tactical plan," added Red Devilettes coach Joëlle Piron. "We start every match with the intention of winning, and we're aiming for third place."
Spain are also putting their performance into perspective after an impressive qualification in which they eliminated world champions France in their second round group and finished ahead of this week's finalists Poland in their first – defeating the Polish 3-0 on their own Dolná Ždaňa turf.
"I feel proud knowing that at first there were 44 teams and now there are just four and we are in the top four," said captain Marta Turmo. "There are many good sides that have not made it this far, really good teams like France and the Netherlands and we have got past them, and now we are here. I mean, we eliminated France, the world champions."