Spain struck in the final minute of regulation time to seal its path to the FIFA U-17 World Cup final. Lucia Corrales turned super-sub as her goal downed a resolute Germany in the semifinal here at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Wednesday.
Spain, which reached its third final at this level, can now defend its crown at the DY Patil Stadium on Sunday.
The German assistant coach had predicted an intense game, and both teams delivered with a full-throttle approach from the start to finish.
Both Germany and Spain were keen on taking the attacking approach, but spaces were hard to come by due to their intense pressing style off the ball.
While Germany had an overreliance on attacker Mara Alber, Spain had threats all around the park and from the bench to call upon.
In the 20th minute, Alber hit a stunning volley into the net, but the goal was disallowed after a lengthy VAR check of over five minutes, where Alara Sehitler was found to be offside in the build-up. At the restart, she cut in from the left and unleashed a shot from outside the box, which was saved by Sofia Fuente.
In the second half, openings were hard to come by. Spain substitute Olaya Enrique’s whizzed a free-kick over the crossbar. In the 75th minute, Alber twisted and turned away from her markers before unleashing a shot, which was pouched low by Fuente on the second attempt.
When it seemed like it would go to another penalty shootout on the night, Spain’s two substitutes, Corrales and creator Ainhoa Alguacil, combined to deliver the killer blow. Alguacil skillfully evaded her marker and fired in a low cross around the six-yard area, where Corrales guided it into the net with the outside of her side foot.
RESULT: Germany 0-1 Spain (90’ Lucia Corrales)
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