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UEFA U21 Championship

  • June 19, 2011
  • • 19:45
  • • MCH Arena, Herning
  • Referee: M. Strahonja
  • • Attendance: 3302
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Ukraine U21 0-3 Spain U21: Adrian & Mata set up Belarus date in semi-finals

Ukraine U21 0-3 Spain U21: Adrian & Mata set up Belarus date in semi-finals

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The slick favourites for the tournament cruise into the last four with a confident and assured win, courtesy of yet another impressive display from the Valencia star in Denmark

Spain have qualified for the semi-finals of the European Under-21 Championship after a routine 3-0 win over Ukraine that sees them top Group B.

First-half goals from Juan Mata and Adrian, who notched his third of the tournament, helped to see off minimal resistance from the eastern European side, and Mata netted from the spot in the second period to set up a last-four meeting with Belarus.

Prior to kick-off, Spain knew that after sharing the spoils with England and defeating the Czech Republic, a draw would be enough to see them through to the semi-finals. Ukraine, on the other hand, needed to triumph.

However, Luis Milla's favourites took no time at all to stamp their authority on the contest, and collected the lead after just 10 minutes of play.

Ander Herrera fizzed a low pass into the area looking for Juan Mata, and defender Serhiy Kryvtsov slipped at an inopportune moment, allowing Mata to compose himself and slide his finish under the body of Kanilbolotskiy.

Ukraine were behind, but offered little indication that they could reverse the flow of the fixture. Spain remained patient, and a second goal arrived before the half hour mark.

A slick move saw Thiago Alcantara swagger confidently through the centre of the pitch, and play in full-back Martin Montoya, whose cross found in-form Adrian at the back post, allowing the Atletico Madrid striker the most straightforward of tasks to double the lead.

The second half of the contest was something of a non-event, with Ukraine aware they required a miracle to reverse their fortunes, and with Mata in inspired form, Spain added a third goal to kill the tie.

The World Cup winner weaved into the area only to be stopped illegally by Denys Garmash, and as the defender saw red for the incident, Mata brushed himself off and slotted calmly into the net from 12 yards.

However, Ukraine were offered a slim lifeline moments later when David de Gea brought down Zozulya inside the box, and the referee pointed to the spot once more. However, a woeful evening for Group B's bottom side continued when Konoplyanka's tame kick was saved by De Gea.

Spain retained possession for the remainder of the match, and face Belarus in the semi-finals, as their bid for glory shows no signs of letting up.

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