2016 UEFA Women's under-17 Championship - Spain 4-0 Norway: Late goals see holders Spain reach final

Goals from Silvia Rubio, Natalia Ramos and two from Lorena Navarro see Spain beat an organised Norwegian side 4-0 to reach the 2016 UEFA Women's Under-17 Championship Final.

2016 UEFA Women's under-17 Championship - Spain 4-0 Norway: Late goals see holders Spain reach final
Image credit: Sportsfile - UEFA
Spain U17
4 0
Norway U17
Spain U17: Noelia Ramos (Coll, min.78); Rodríguez (Gutiérrez, min.77), Pujadas, Aleixandri, Batlle; Monete (Natalia Ramos, min.61), Rubio, Fernández; Blano, Lorena Navarro, Andújar.
Norway U17: Nilsen; Birkeli, Huseby, Aalstad Bækkelund, Hjelmehaug; Maanum, Eckhoff; Nautnes, Haug, Ruud (Stenevik, min.HT); Norheim.
SCORE: 1-0, min.48, Rubio. 2-0, min.71, Natalia Ramos. 3-0, min.73, Lorena Navarro. 4-0, min.76, Lorena Navarro.
REFEREE: Vera Opeykina (RUS). Booked: Aleixandri (min.21), Admonished Rodríguez (min.34).
INCIDENTS: The Semi-Final of the 2016 UEFA Women's Under-17 Championship between the holders, Spain, and, Norway. The match was played at the Torpedo Stadium in Zhodino, Belarus.

Three late goals helped the holders Spain progress to the 2016 UEFA Women's Under-17 Championship final as they defeated Norway 4-0 to reach a record sixth final.

During the first half, Spain had a goal disallowed due to Laia Aleixandri's handball, but early on in the second half, they took the lead through Silvia Rubio's swerving shot.

Norway looked for an equaliser but for the majority of the game, their best chance seemed to be capitalising on a Spanish defensive error. 

Spain had a goal ruled out for offside, but during five minutes, they scored three goals through Natalia Ramos' header and Lorena Navarro's two strikes to reach the final where they will play either England or Germany.

Spanish opener ruled out for handball

Spain started the semi-final at speed, dominating the possession in the opening exchanges with their captain Lucía Rodríguez getting in dangerous crosses and shooting wide of the near post

Candela Andújar nearly set up the opener, as her trickery saw her cut off the left-wing and into the penalty area – but her cutback was brilliantly intercepted by Noor Hoelsrbekken Eckhoff.

Norway was having to be patient as Spain played the sort of passing football their reputation dictates, but there were signs of chances with Spanish carelessness at the back, but each time, the Spanish defence recovered in time to prevent the chance developing.

Spain thought they had taken the lead in the 20th minute after Emilie Nautnes had fouled Ona Batlle on the left-wing. Paula Fernández curled crossed looped towards the far post where the Norwegian keeper Linn-Mari Nilsen came and missed the ball and collided with her own player Sophie Haug, and Laia Aleixandri appeared to head the ball into the net – but the assistant correctly spotted she had used her hand.

The Spanish seemed to lose their concentration the next minute as Haug's bravery played Andrea Norheim into the penalty area, but she fired her shot into the side-netting.

Norway started to create openings late on in the first half with Frida Maanum's free-kick was saved at the near post by the Spanish 'keeper Noelia Ramos. And then Norheim's pass picked out Emilie Nautnes in the box, she took a touch, but her shot was blocked by Ona Batlle's sliding tackle.

Spain celebrate. | Image source: Sportsfile- UEFA
Spain celebrate. | Image source: Sportsfile- UEFA

Spain take the lead

Eight minutes into the second half, Spain took the lead. Lovely one-touch passing found Silvia Rubio in enough space to take a touch and her swerving 30 yards shot caught out the flat-footed Norwegian 'keeper.

Norway nearly immediately equalised from a corner which picked out Haug in the six-yard area, but her flicked header went wide.

They came even closer when Maanum's corner was cleared, the ball was worked back to her again, where her cross was cut out by Aleixandri and it was the Spanish defender who played Maanum onside when she once again received the ball, but this time her close-range shot was expertly saved by Ramos.

Spanish defending nearly gifted Norway a goal when Berta Pujadas' weak pass-back gave Haug an opportunity to pounce, but alert keeping from Ramos cleared the danger.

Spain was still dominating possession and they soon had another goal ruled out, this time for offside. Rubio's cross was cleared by the Norwegian defence straight to Andújar, whose shot was parried by Nilsen and Fernández's shot found the net, but this was immediately flagged for offside.

Three late goals secure victory

And then in the 71st minute, Spain got the second goal their dominance deserved.  Fernández's corner was cleared to Andújar whose cross picked out Natalia Ramos whose looping header gave Nilsen no chance.

Two minutes later, it was 3-0. Rodríguez sent María Blanco to the byline and her cross picked out the diminutive Lorena Navarro whose header found the bottom corner.

Three minutes later, Spain scored their fourth.  Rodríguez passed to Lorena Navarro on the edge of the box, she turned two defenders and her left-footed shot found the top corner.

Spain will now play either England or Germany in the final.