Spain stamp knockout ticket
© Action Images

Spain booked passage to the knockout rounds of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Nigeria 2009 with a 3-1 win over United Arab Emirates in Kano. Two goals in the first half and one just before the final whistle were enough to repell a brave fight back from the Asians in their second Group E match.

The Spaniards were in charge of the contest from the opening whistle, scoring their first goal in only the 12th minute. Playmaker Isco hit out on a foraging run, first leaving two UAE players in his wake and then two more before bursting into the area and blasting home. It should have been 2-0 seconds after the restart, but Pablo Sarabia could not quote find away to hit home after a brilliant build-up by Jordi Amat.

La Rojita didn't have to wait long to double the lead, however, as Borja slammed home from close range after a dazzling bit of interplay from Sarabia and Isco. As the half ground to a halt, the Europeans were knocking on the door in search of a third goal.

Spain continued to press after the break, but despite having most of the possession they lacked the killer touch they had in the first period. Iker Muniain set up Borja three minutes in, but the UAE keeper dove well to beat the effort away. Overconfidence afflicted the Europeans after that and the Emiratis had several chances to haul themselves back into the match, finally scoring in the 68th minute through Mohammad Sebil's fantastic volley.

The goal had the effect of spurring on the Spaniards, who sealed the 3-1 win two minutes from time with Adria Carmona bending home a free-kick from an acute angle that seemed to surprise everyone in the Stadium. United Arab Emirates, with three points from two games will need more from their final game against the USA on 1 November, while Spain are happily through with six points from their two game.