Federation Internationale de Football Association U-17 WC: Ruiz brace sets up all-European final

Federation Internationale de Football Association U-17 WC: Ruiz brace sets up all-European final

Federation Internationale de Football Association U-17 WC: Ruiz brace sets up all-European final

A penalty and a great finish by Abel Ruiz saw Spain getting the edge over a physical Mali side.

But Mali too are flying and their figures are staggering: the highest number of goals, the highest number of assists, three players in the top 10 of the tournament's leading scorers, most shots on goal, most shots on target, most shots that hit the woodwork.

Abbas Chamanian's boys defeated Mexico 2-1 in Round of 16 to make history by advancing to the World Cup quarter-final for the first time.

Spain's class proved too much for Mali as an Abel Ruiz brace inspired the U-17 European champion to a comprehensive 3-1 win in the semifinal of the Federation Internationale de Football Association U-17 World cup here on Wednesday.

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Ferran Torres then added a third for Spain in the 71st minute to put the result beyond doubt, although Mali did manage a consolation effort three minutes later through a Lassan Ndiaye effort.

In what was touted to be a battle between Spain's finesse and Mali's force, the Europeans swept aside their Malian opponents with classy counter-attacking football. His volley was spectacularly saved by 'keeper Youssouf Koita. They have scored all kinds of goals at this World Cup and their domination of Ghana in the quarterfinals showed that it will take a quality performance to stop another West African onslaught. Spain were awarded a penalty when a mistake by the Mali defence saw an unmarked Cesar Gelabert storm into the penalty box before being brought down by Abdoulaye Diaby. He also set up the second to find Ruiz on the right side of the box in the 43rd minute.

Saeid Karimi pulled a goal back for Iran, Spain held on to secure their spot in the last four and a meeting with Mali in Navi Mumbai on Wednesday. Mali had to be content with long shots and it was one such that nearly gave them a goal at 2-0 down.

A total of 162 goals have been scored in this edition of the tournament so far - the third best behind UAE 2013 (172 goals) and Korea Republic 2007 (165).

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