Spain end Ireland's EURO dream
Spain lived up to their reputation as favourites for the UEFA Championship U19 tournament with a convincing 5-0 win over Paul Doolin's Irish side at the Concordia Stadium in Chiajna, Romania tonight.
The Spaniards began the first half strongly and exerted their dominance on the game early on despite the Irish performing strongly in defence. The first real chance of the game came in the 20th minute when Sergi Gomez clipped the post with his 25 yard free-kick which was a warning for the Spanish waves of attack which were yet to come.
Gerard Deulofeu opened the scoring in the 27th minute when he collected the ball on the left wing and he turned inside Anthony O'Connor and unleashed a swerving right footed strike which nestled into the top corner, giving McCarey no chance.
Two minutes later, Deulofeu missed a great opportunity to double his tally when he got on the end of a Sarabia cross from the right but he blazed his effort over the bar from 16 yards.
Ireland almost conceded another in the 31st minute when Irish goalkeeper, Aaron McCarey was adjudged to have held the ball beyond the permitted time, giving the Spanish an in-direct free-kick from 15 yards. It took a magnificent save from McCarey to save a goal-bound Sarabia effort to keep the score at 1-0.
However, the Getafe midfielder produced a sublime piece of skill to make the score 2-0 after 40 minutes when he collected the ball 22 yards from goal and with his back to goal, he swiveled and struck an unstoppable shot into the back of the net, leaving McCarey helpless to stop it.
Spain made it three moments into the second half when a Spanish counter attack sent Deulofeu off on the left wing and he cleverly cut inside and laid the ball off to Juanmi who side-footed it off the under-side of the crossbar and into the net from 12 yards.
Álvaro Morata scored Spain's fourth in the 79th minute when he burst down the left, evaded the challenge of McCarey and slid it past the line despite the best efforts of Joe Shaughnessy.
Morata ensured Spain would match their 5-0 margin against Austria in the 2006 semi-finals with a crowning fifth goal from the penalty spot. Hendrick handled Ignasi Miquel's chipped pass to concede the spot kick and Spain's No7 made no mistake from the spot.
Republic of Ireland: Aaron McCarey, Derrick Williams, Joseph Shaughnessy John Egan, Anthony O'Connor, Jeffrey Hendrick, Samir Carruthers, John O'Sullivan, Conor Murphy, Anthony Forde, Sean Murray.
Substitutes: Sean McDermott, Kevin Knight (on for Murray, 72 mins), Kane Ferdinand, Eoin Wearen (on for Carruthers, 62 mins), Declan Walker, Connor Smith (on for Murphy, 45 mins.)
Spain: Edgar Badia, Daniel Carvajal, Sergi Gomez, Ignasi Miquel, Jon Aurtenetxe, Ruben Pardo, Martin Alvaro Borja, Alejandro Ferdandez, Pablo Garcia, Juan Miguel Lopez Jiminez, Gerrard Deulofeu.
Substitutes: Tomás Gonzalex Borja, Francisco Alcacer, Albert Blazquez, Adrian Ortola (GK), Jonas Ramalho, Jose Gomez, Juan Muniz Gallego.