Spain Outscore Mali, Set Up England Final

Spain's Abel Ruiz

Ruiz opened scoring for Spain in the 19th minute from the penalty spot before making it 2-0 on 43 minutes. Video replays of Cheick Oumar Doucoure's wonderful, spectacular 30-yard strike showed the ball had fully crossed the line but with the lack of any kind of goal-line technology - either Hawk-Eye or VAR, the goal wasn't given, despite protests from Mali's players that the goal was legal.

Mali failed to make the most of the momentum though as Spain held on to reach their fourth U-17 World Cup final.

Spain and Mali will clash in the semi-finals of the Federation Internationale de Football Association U-17 World Cup at the D.Y. Patil Stadium in Mumbai.

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Right-winger Ferran Torres, who tormented Iran in the quarterfinals and got his deserved first goal of the World Cup, has been Spain's brightest spark in attack. Mali got a goal back three minutes after Torres' goal, through Lassana N'Diaye. After several attempts on goal from both teams, Gelabert was fouled in the box when his deft turn drew a foul from Abdoulaye Diaby to give Spain a penalty. Mali kept pressing but Spain were calm in the work all around. But Mali goalkeeper Youssouf Koita pulled off a superb diving save. This was the end of proceedings in the first half as the boys in red walked off at the half-time whistle on a comfortable two-goal cushion.

In the semi-finals played today, while Spain beat Mali 3-1 in Navi Mumbai, England upset three-time champions Brazil by the same margin in Kolkata.

The FC Barcelona starlet doubled the lead in the 43rd minute which saw Cesar Gelabert provide a pivotal ball to Ruiz who released a grounded shot from outside the box. Torres added to the Africans' woes when he headed down across from Gomez to score Spain's third goal. Spain were also crowned champions of Europe, winning the UEFA U-17 Euros in order to qualify for the tournament. N'Diaye and Ruiz are now the joint second highest scorers in the tournament with six goals from six matches each.

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