Spain is once again in a final and the future stars of Spanish women’s football will seek the fifth European under-17 crown this Friday against France. The Spanish U17 team defeated England (3-1) on Tuesday to win the ticket to its tenth final, which is a record for a competition in which Spain has shown off the potential of its formative football on the European continent.
After having a perfect group stage with three victories in three games and no goals conceded, Spain, runners-up in the last edition in which they lost on penalties against Germany and recent World Cup champion for the second time in a row, was running as a one of the great favorites to win the title for the fifth time (2009/10, 2010/11, 2014/15, 2017/18) with players in their ranks such as Vicky López from Barcelona, who was already a key player in the European Championship of the last season and won the Ballon d’Or at the 2022 World Cup, in which the Valencian player Ainhoa Alguacil and the Madrid CFF player Cristina Librán also participated.
Spain did not want surprises and marked the start of the game with intensity, where they bothered England with high pressure thanks to which the first goal came. Just five minutes were enough for Spain to take the lead with a header from Vicky López after a good cross from Cristina Redondo from the right. Spain’s monologue was complete against a proud England that remained faithful to its style of going short and that, as a consequence, was suffocated by a Spanish team that masterfully recovered the ball in the opposite field without leaving their rival a chance.
The siege of Kenio Gonzalo’s team was continuous with chances from Ainhoa Alguacil and Paula Comendador that were rejected by goalkeeper Poor and with a direct free kick from Vicky López that hit the crossbar, but they could not extend the distance and the second half started with a more inspired English team that equalized the semi-final. Baker served a lateral free kick that Katie Reid headed home to give Spain their first goal in the entire competition. England tried to prevail over Spain with players like the Arsenal footballer who has had minutes in the Champions League, Michelle Agyemang, but without success. The redhead had a hard time reacting to that shot of effectiveness from the English, who had only made two shots against the nineteen of the Spanish who, when they saw themselves in extra time, shot epic. Ainoa Gómez dressed as heroin and the first ball she touched in the game was a goal (m.88). In added time, Paula Comendador rounded off the victory so as not to give England a chance to reply and qualify Spain for yet another final.
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