European Under-21 Championship: Spain through as 1-0 win eliminates Germany
Last Updated: 09/06/13 11:07pm
Isco: Skips away from Oliver Sorg during Spain's win over Germany
Alvaro Morata was the hero again as Spain beat Germany 1-0 to eliminate them from the European Under-21 Championship.
Morata, who also scored a late winner against Russia in midweek, came off the bench to net with five minutes remaining and ensure Spain progress alongside Holland from Group B.
But Germany are out with a game to spare and can have few complaints after being outplayed for much of the contest in Netanya.
Germany captain Lewis Holtby did have the game's first effort of note when his low free-kick tested fellow Premier League star David de Gea in the Spain goal.
But it was the Spaniards who asked most of the questions, showing remarkable quality without cutting through their opponents that easily in the early stages.
Best of the match:
- Man of the match: Asier Illarramendi doesn't get the headlines of others in the Spain midfield but he was superb.
- Goal of the match: That man Alvaro Morata delivered again with another late goal of the bench, this time a great solo effort.
- Talking point: Can Spain continue their domination of football with another tournament win?
Thiago did beat Bernd Leno in the Germany goal midway through the first half but his superb curling shot came back off the far post.
Then it was the highly-rated Isco who got in on the act when his clever reverse pass found Rodrigo and the former Bolton loanee rounded Leno only to see his shot slide into the side-netting.
Germany were restricted to playing on the break for much of the first period but occasionally sought to keep De Gea on his toes with Christian Clemens going close with a shot from distance.
After the break, Spain stepped up the pressure and Rodrigo almost seized upon an error by Leno when the keeper spilt the ball but did well to recover.
The hugely impressive Asier Illarramendi then went close when he drove forward from midfield and fired a shot just wide of the left-hand post.
But just when Germany looked like they would live to fight another day, Morata stormed down the left and beat Leno at his near post with a right-footed shot to send Spain through to the semi-finals.
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European Under-21 Championship Group A
European Under-21 Championship Group B