Report: Spain stun Norway to lay down marker

Spain 4-0 Norway
Alba Redondo scored two and claimed an assist as Jorge Vilda's side got their WU19 EURO campaign up and running in some style.

Alba Redondo, pictured during last season's finals, struck twice
Alba Redondo, pictured during last season's finals, struck twice ©Sportsfile

• Spain claim biggest ever win against Norway at this level
• Alba Redondo scores two, set up another for Nahikari García
• Spain defender Núria Garrote suspended following red card in qualifying
Next matches: England v Spain, Germany v Norway (Saturday)

Spain laid down a marker on the opening day of WU19 EURO with a commanding 4-0 victory over Norway.

The message from all four Group B coaches on the eve of the finals was that there was little to separate the sides but a gulf emerged between Spain and Norway in Ramla. Jorge Vilda's charges were 3-0 up before the interval, and Alba Redondo's second of the game seven minutes from time sealed a win that sends a real statement out to the other teams in Israel.

By the end of the game Spain and Norway had identical figures in terms of shots on target, but the Iberian side made all theirs count. Alba Redondo set the tone, converting Laura Ortega's terrific cross to make it 1-0 on 22 minutes – the first goal of the finals – then turned provider to tee up Nahikari García for a well-taken second four minutes later.

Norway almost hit back, Nora Eide Lie forcing a fine stop from Elena De Toro, but Spain were soon knocking at the door again. Sandra Hernández could not keep her shot down and while there was nothing wrong with Pilar Garrote's 25-metre effort not long after, Aurora Mikalsen looked to have it covered but somehow the ball crept in.

There were still seven minutes until half-time but Norway shored things up and it was not until seven minutes from full time that they were beaten again, Leire Baños setting up Alba Redondo to make it 4-0.

Reaction
Jorge Vilda, Spain coach: "The players' attitude and the way they competed was key to our success. If I were to pick a key part of the match I would select the first half because my players performed very well; in the second half we made the most of our chances and controlled the match. We know that nothing is settled yet, but it's the best way we could have started."

Nils Lexerød, Norway coach: "It was a tough game. We started quiet well, but then Spain scored with their first two chances and then it became hard for us. We weren't quite at our best in the first half, but I think the girls played better in the second half. We should try to use the experience of the second half and improve our play against Germany on Saturday."