Spain booked a quarter-final meeting with Women’s Euro host England after its 1-0 win over Denmark on Saturday ensured it finished as runner-up in Group B.
Having beaten Finland in its opening game, a draw was all Spain needed to seal its place in the last eight behind group winners Germany but a late header from Marta Cardona put a gloss on their progression.
It was a cagey affair to begin with at a sunny and noisy Brentford Community Stadium, with 2017 runners-up Denmark threatening on the break but unable to find a clear shot on goal.
Spain had numerous efforts from forward Athenea Del Castillo but all were stopped by goalkeeper Lene Christensen, while captain Irene Paredes had a goalbound header cleared off the line on the stroke of halftime.
Spain dominated possession in the second half but its end product let them down, while Denmark’s best chance fell to substitute Nadia Nadim in the 78th minute when she was set up by Pernille Harder in the box moments after coming on. However, her right-footed shot was tipped over by Sandra Panos.
Denmark looked out of ideas as the clock ticked down and their fate was sealed in the 90th minute as Cardona drifted in at the far post to get on the end of a deep cross from Olga Carmona and head in the winner.
It is the third successive time Spain has qualified for the quarter-finals and it will face a tough battle to go one better and reach the last four when it takes on England at Brighton’s Amex Stadium on Wednesday.
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