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Slick Spain through after overwhelming England

Spain 4-0 England
Virginia Torrecilla struck a goal in each half as Spain eased into the semis with a game to spare, ending England ambitions in the process.

Spain 4-0 England ©Sportsfile

Spain eclipsed their opening performance with an emphatic 4-0 victory against England to ensure their place in the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship semi-finals.

England started brightly enough but once Spain found their rhythm there was only going to be one winner. Alexia Putellas opened the scoring on 17 minutes and Amanda Sampedro doubled their lead. Virginia Torrecilla put the result beyond doubt before half-time, and condemned England to an early exit with Spain's fourth.

After a nervous opening, Spain grabbed the vital breakthrough through captain Putellas, who stole in behind to connect with Gema Gili's pass from inside the area. Denied the invention of Danielle Carter, who was missing through illness, Mo Marley's side were unable to impose themselves, despite the tireless resistance of central midfielder Sherry McCue.

Urged on by coach Ángel Vilda, it was not long before Spain doubled their lead, as Sampedro scored following a neat cross from rampaging right-back Ana Troyano. With the class of Sampedro and Putellas coming to the fore, it seemed only a matter of time before Spain struck again. So it proved on the stroke of half time, when Sampedro cleverly manoeuvred the ball into the path of Ana Troyano, whose pinpoint cross was converted by Torrecilla.

Marley's words at the interval sparked a reaction from England early in the second period, though Spain weathered the storm before taking control once more, Torrecilla scoring her second of the night with a curling effort. England's players refused to let their heads drop, however, and came close to a well-deserved consolation in added time when Bethany Mead's near-post cross was almost turned in by Abbey-Leigh Stringer.

But once the final whistle blew, the two camps turned thoughts to two very different final encounters. Spain take on fellow semi-finalists Sweden with first place at stake; England tackle Serbia with only pride to play for.