Spain deny Mali another World Cup final

Spain deny Mali another World Cup final

Spain deny Mali another World Cup final

Mali had to be content with long shots and it was one such that nearly gave them a goal at 2-0 down.

However, it was in the 19th minute that the first blood was drawn as Spanish skipper Abel Ruiz scored his fifth goal of the tournament from the penalty spot.

Mali's goal was scored by Lassana N'Diaye.

Abel Ruiz (19th, 43rd minutes) struck twice for Spain before half-time while Ferran Torres (71st) got the third goal.

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It'll be pass-and-move versus run-and-shoot, tiki-taka versus an African racing vehicle when Spain face Mali in the U-17 World Cup semi-final in Navi Mumbai on Wednesday. The first was a penalty that Cesar Gelabert earned with a fine run that beat the offside trap and then was tripped inside the box. Abel Ruiz made no mistake in clinching the opener as he hit the middle of the net, leaving goalkeeper Youssouf Koita helpless. However, the goal came too late as Spain had already murdered Mali's hopes of progression with their three strikes.

Spain was happy to soak Mali's pressure and in the 33rd minute nearly doubled its tally on the counter when Ruiz's side-footed finish, capping off a slick move from the left flank, missed the right-hand post by a whisker. The shot from Doucoure hit the bar and replays showed the ball had crossed the line after it bounced off the ground. With seven goals, Brewster has become the highest goal-scorer in the tournament so far. Spain come into the game having found their attacking mojo, all the while showing why they are so good at keeping the ball. Japanese referee Ryuji Sato didn't allow a Mali goal to stand on 62 minutes with the score at 0-2. However, it proved to be nothing more than a consolation goal as Spain held on to set up an all-European final against an England side it beat in this year's U-17 European Championship.

Mali, who lost 2-0 to Nigeria in the final of the 2015 edition in Chile, will face Brazil in the third-place match on Saturday.

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