Spain will face France in the final of the UEFA Women’s Under-17 European Championship on Friday in Tallinn after the last four wins.
France overpowered Switzerland 10-2 but Spain needed two late goals to beat England 3-1.
France 10-2 Switzerland (Kadriorg Stadium, Tallinn)
Spain 3-1 England (Lilleküla Stadium, Tallinn)
Spain vs France (18:00 CET/19:00 local time, Lilleküla Stadium, Tallinn)
There were early statements of French intentions as Liana Joseph twice forced Yasmine Ammar to make a save. And in the 13th minute, France’s captain, Maeline Mendy, scored as she received the ball from Naolia Traore on the right, went to the touchline and somehow put the ball in the net.
Three minutes later, Mendy scored again from Joseph before confidently beating Ammar. Switzerland had a chance to counter-attack from time to time but were three times ahead when Maeline Mendy’s corner from the right was headed back into the post by Joseph and Naolia Traore sent the ball into the net.
Joseph soon got his own goal as Mélinda Mendy blocked a pass from the Swiss defense and set up her teammate inside the box. Iman Beney pulled back a goal before half-time after she caught a loose ball from an opponent.
However, France now has two more. First, an Ammar clearance was deflected by substitute Elisa Rambaud, who calmly tapped the ball from distance. Then, Maeline Mendy threaded through Chancelle Effa Effa to cushion the ball into an empty net.
Another substitute, Anja Klingenstein, reduced the amount in arrears with a low-angle finish after being set up by Sydney Schertenleid. However, there was much more to come for France as Rambaud let Maeline Mendy play clear to complete her hat-trick, then teamed up with Traore to score Effa Effa.
Ornella Graziani, who replaced Traore not long ago, probably scored thanks to a solo phase and dangerous finish. The tenth goal came when Effa Effa crossed for Rambaud to convert.
Peggy Provost, coach of the French national team: “It was obviously a very good performance. We went to the final in the best ways, with 10 goals. We had 15 scoring opportunities and we scored 10 so that’s the thing. That’s very good. That sends a big message to our next opponents. We’ve done our offensive work together, so we’re very happy.”
Naolia Traore, French striker: “We are very happy; we have worked all year to reach the final so we will celebrate. Every player helps the team, as usual. Today it paid off. and we’ll try to do the same in the final. I’m happy to be part of the team. We have great players and hopefully we’ll go far together.”
Veronica Maglia, Swiss coach: “Unfortunately we weren’t able to carry out our game plan today. We haven’t really entered the game yet and can’t win the duels. Now we all have to Take a look at yourself and draw the right lessons for the future from this bitter failure.”
Spain tore England’s net from the start and took the lead after five minutes when Vicky López headed in after Cris Redondo’s cross. There wasn’t much time to rest after that, with Sophia Poor in goal for England constantly being called up.
Poor was defeated by a free kick 34 minutes into the match, but it went over the bar for England. Spain continued to attack and England were grateful to lead 1-0 in the first half.
He started the second half on a positive note but Poor soon had to save again, plunging to deny Pau Comendador from close range. But in the 55th minute, England equalized when Katie Reid took the lead after Ava Baker’s free kick.
Spain continued to hold the ball more, but the chances were few. Cris Redondo took the lead with five minutes left, only to score.
Penalties appeared but then Ainoa Gómez, shortly after being introduced in the 87th minute, picked up a half-split ball and shot a shot wide of Poor’s net. Pau then sealed the victory with a low shot from substitute Noa Ortega’s cross.
- main indicator: Spain reached the final for a record 10th time, 1 match ahead of Germany and hopes to win it for the 5th time.
Kenio Gonzalo, Spain coach: “It was a very balanced game, England are a great team and I congratulate them on the game they gave us today. However, the most important thing, when Spain competed. play, they adapt, make the right decisions and every player who comes on from the bench adds something. So congratulations to the 20 players I have here. There are a few. who can’t be here, so I’m thinking of them too.”
Pau Comendador, Spain’s top scorer: “For Spain, we have completed half of our goal by reaching the final with all our hard work in the first and second stages of training. It is a reflection of our team. All the hard work we’ve done, we’re having fun.
“It’s so proud to represent my country, to represent Spain, I can’t believe it. It was a dream. We worked so hard and all to get to the final and to be in the final. against a team as strong as France.”
Mo Marley, England coach: “I think we started a bit slow in this particular game. Then we reset a bit in the first half. Spain were the better team in the first half but I think we are. turned the tide in the second half and the players reacted brilliantly. In the end, the game was very tight, both teams still managed to win.
“It’s a bit of a cruel derailment for our girls and almost the third target is where we’re trying to chase it. It’s pretty hard for the girls to do, because of the timing. But we do. told them we will be really proud of what they have achieved, football, how resilient they have been throughout the tournament.”