Spain survive New Zealand test to book final ticket
Spain overcame New Zealand 2-0 in the semi-finals of the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Uruguay 2018 to book their spot in Saturday's final in Montevideo.
New Zealand nearly opened the scoring in the 29th minute when Macey Fraser attempted a shot just inside the penalty area after receiving a cut-back pass from Gabi Rennie, but Spain goalkeeper Catalina Coll tipped her shot on to the crossbar to keep it scoreless.
Ten minutes later, it was Spain who found the breakthrough goal. Eva Navarro created enough space to send in a cross from the right wing where New Zealand defender Hannah Mackay-Wright did not do enough to clear the ball. Her header fell to the one player the Kiwis probably wanted to avoid giving chances to, Claudia Pina. Spain's captain made no mistake from close range and scored her fifth goal of the tournament.
Three minutes into the second half, Irene Lopez scored a contender for goal of the tournament. Capitalising on another headed clearance from Mackay-Wright, Lopez hit a half-volley directly out of the air and into the far corner. Leat managed to get a slight touch on the shot, but not enough to prevent it from hitting the post before going into the New Zealand net.
The goals proved to be enough for Spain to ensure they are headed to their second U-17 Women's World Cup final. La Rojita were beaten by Japan 2-0 in the final at Costa Rica 2014.
New Zealand will contest the match for third place against Canada on Saturday.