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Spain locks up Group B in Euro U21 by beating Netherlands

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TSN.ca Staff
6/12/2013 3:32:06 PM
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Spain has locked up top spot in Group B with a 3-0 victory over the Netherlands on the final day of opening round play at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship.

In a meeting of the top two teams in the group, Spain pounced in the first half to take command of the game.

Alvaro Morata took sole possession of the tournament's Golden Boot through the first round with his third goal of the tournament in the 26th minute, a beautiful finish on a wide open passing play facilitated by Getafe midfielder Pablo Sarabia.

Just over five minutes later it would be Isco that would break through the Dutch defence and finish over top of goalkeeper Marco Bizot to give Spain a 2-0 lead that it would enjoy for most of the match's remainder.

The finishing touch would come in stoppage time courtesy of substitute Alvaro Vazquez, who converted a goal-mouth tap-in to complete Spain's 3-0 victory.

The shutout marked the fourth straight clean sheet for Spain which has not conceded since the 2011 semifinal against Belarus.

Spain will now draw Norway in the semifinal while the Netherlands, who finished second in Group B will draw Group A-winners Italy.

In the day's other draw Germany would overcome an early goal to take advantage of Russia's lack of discipline.

The Russians would open the scoring courtesy of Euro 2012 Golden Boot co-winner Alan Dzagoev. The Moscow forward drove a low shot past German keeper Oliver Baumann to stake Russia to a 1-0 lead.

Patrick Herrmann would equalize for Germany, pouncing on a rebound just inside the post to level the score in the 34th minute.

The Russians would catch an unfortunate break in the 39th minute when defender Georgi Schennikov was booked for a clumsy challenge on Tony Jantschke. While Schennikov got a piece of the ball first on the play, referee Matej Jug adjudged the challenge to be dangerous and showed the defender a straight red.

Hermann would factor in to the eventual winning goal for Germany after he was brought down inside the box by Russian captain Taras Burlak in the 68th minute. Substitute Sebastian Rudy would bury the ensuing penalty kick, scoring the decisive marker in Germany's 2-1 win.

Both sides are now finished in the tournament. Germany heads home with a 1-2 record, while Russia heads home 0-3 after conceding a tournament-high eight goals through three contests.

Catch both the Spain/Norway and Italy/Netherlands semifinal match-ups live on TSN2 on Saturday starting at 11:15am et/8:15am pt. Broadcast details to be released soon.

Pablo Sarabia and Alvaro Vázquez (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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