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UEFA U21 Championship

  • June 25, 2011
  • • 19:45
  • • NRGi Park, Århus
  • Referee: P. Tagliavento
  • • Attendance: 16110
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Switzerland U21 0-2 Spain U21: Ander & Thiago wonder goals hand Luis Milla's side European U21 Championship title

Switzerland U21 0-2 Spain U21: Ander & Thiago wonder goals hand Luis Milla's side European U21 Championship title

Getty

The Iberian nation were too hot for Switzerland as they coasted to a 2-0 victory courtesy of two brilliant goals from Ander Herrera and Thiago Alcantara

Spain are the European Under-21 champions after producing an impressive performance to defeat Switzerland 2-0 in Aarhus, to add further proof that the Iberian nation are the dominant force of international football.

The opening goal of the game came in the 41st minute when Ander Herrera nipped in between Switzerland's centre-backs to get on the end of a precise Didac Vila cross to send a powerful header past Yann Sommer and give Spain Euro glory. Thiago added a second in the 82nd minute with a sumptuous 40 yard free-kick to put the icing on the cake.

Spain made a bright start and created the first chance of the game in the third minute. Javi Martinez's powerful run saw the Athletic Bilbao man play a finely weighted through ball to Adrian Lopez inside the box. However, the competition's top scorer with five goals could only drag his shot wide.

Despite a nervy opening, Switzerland began to break up their opposition's flowing rhythm and nearly opened the scoring on the half hour. The Swiss' dangerman of the tournament, Xherdan Shaqiri, controlled a bouncing ball inside the Spain box before swivelling on the spot and hitting a venomous effort which David de Gea was able to punch clear.

However, the young Spaniards sprung to life and in the 36th minute, Juan Mata found Thiago who sent a rasping low shot from 25 yards out towards goal which missed the target by a few inches.



The Group B winners continued to step up the tempo and took a deserved lead on 41 minutes as the Swiss goal was breached for the first time in the tournament. The marauding Didac Vila made his way down the left wing before swinging a glorious cross into the box which was met by a bullet header from Ander Herrera with the ball flying past the stranded Yann Sommer and into the net.

Switzerland looked determined to claw themselves back into the final in the early stages of the second half and could have equalised on 52 minutes. Innocent Emeghara played an intelligent one-two with Admir Mehmedi before the Nigerian-born striker fluffed his lines with a tame effort from 15 yards out.

Despite Spain looking in control of the game, the young Swiss missed a glorious opportunity to get back into the game on 77 minutes through a set-piece. Shaqiri's clever free-kick into the box was flicked on by Jonathan Rossini into the direction of Pajtim Kasami who could not direct his free header on target from close range.

The result was put beyond doubt on 82 minutes with what will be considered the goal of the tournament. With Sommer off his line, Barcelona's Thiago decided to try his luck with a free-kick 40 yards from goal. The effort was perfectly executed as the ball drifted over the head of the panic-stricken keeper and into the top corner of the net.

Spain were content to see out the victory by keeping possession of the ball to clinch their third European Under-21 Championships trophy after previously winning the competition in 1986 and 1998.

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