U17 World Cup: Spain 3-1 Iran - Ferran Torres runs rampant as La Rojita march into the semi-final
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Kochi witnessed Spain's dominance over Iran as the Spanish troops marched into the semi-final...

Spain booked their place in the last-four round of the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 with a scintillating 3-1 win over Iran in their quarter-final clash held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Sunday.

Abel Ruiz scored in the first half before Sergio Gomez and Ferran Torres sealed the game for Spain in the second half to drain confidence off an unusually defensive Iranian attack. Substitute Saeid Karimi scored the only goal for the Cubs but in the end, La Rojita reigned supreme.

Santiago Denia named an unchanged side for the crucial knockout match against Iran. Abel Ruiz led the line with help from Ferran Torres and Sergio Gomez from the flanks. Mohamed Moukhliss, who has been ever-present in the tournament, joined up with the equally impressive Cesar Gelabert in midfield.

Abbas Chamanian made three changes to his side that outscored Mexico in their Round-of-16 fixture. In-form striker Allahyar Sayyad and Hosseinzadeh led the line for the Cubs with Younes Delfi ineligible for the tie due to suspension.

Spain were quick to get on the ball and pass it around like they have always done in Kochi. There were no signs of knockout nerves and the inevitable opening goal came in the 13th minute.
Sergio Gomez freed himself from his marker on the right before finding an unmarked Abel Ruiz  in the centre of the box who found the net on his second attempt on target.

Spain vs Iran FIFA U17 WC

Mohamed Moukhliss and Antonio Blanco bossed the centre of the pitch as they rendered the midfield efforts of both Mohammad Ghobeishavi and Mohammad Sharifi useless throughout the first 30 minutes.

With 10 minutes to go before the break, Cesar Gelabert had the perfect opportunity to double his side's lead when the ball fell perfectly for the attacking midfielder inside the box but the Iranian goalkeeper Ali Zadeh was quick to come off his line and block the attempt using his body. The teams ended the first half with Iran having had zero attempts on goal in comparison to Spain's consistent knocks on their opponents' backdoor.

A flowing start to the second half saw the Spaniards push for a second to seal the deal and avoid a nervy end later on in the game. At the hour mark, Sergio Gomez took matters into his own hands and unleashed a ferocious effort through the centre from outside the box that hit the underside of the crossbar and went into the net. The 'goal of the tournament' contender breathed life into the Spanish troops and the third goal game soon after.

Spain vs Iran FIFA U17 WC

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Iran's surges forward in search of a goal left spaces in behind for Spain to counter and one such flowing move saw Mohamad Moukhliss deliver an inch-perfect low cross that found the feet of Ferran Torres who made it 3-0.

Iran did get their goal three minutes later when a long ball from defence met the head of Sayyad whose diagonal flick found Saeid Karimi who ensured that the ball landed in the back of the net but it ended up as nothing more than a consolation goal.

Spain ended the game as the better side and they will now face Mali in the semi-final of the U-17 World Cup at Navi Mumbai on 25th October.

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