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2023 UEFA U21 Euro: Spain’s Commanding 5-1 Win Over Ukraine Propels Them to Final

[Photo Credit: Sam Barnes]

Spain delivered an emphatic performance, securing a resounding 5-1 victory against Ukraine to set up a thrilling final clash with England this Saturday.

Having previously secured a hard-fought 2-1 win against Switzerland in extra time, Spain entered the semi-final with confidence, while Ukraine showcased their resilience by coming from behind to defeat France 3-1.

The match kicked off with an impressive save from Ukraine’s Anatoliy Trubin, denying Oihan Sancet at his near left-hand post in the 8th minute. Moments later, Alex Baena dragged a shot wide of the goal following a superb pass from Rodri.

In the 13th minute, Ukraine broke the deadlock with Artem Bondarenko finding the back of the net. Mykhailo Mudryk showcased his skill by beating Victor Gomez and providing a cutback, resulting in Bondarenko tapping in from close range to give Ukraine the lead.

Spain quickly responded, and Abel Ruiz netted his third goal of the tournament. Victor Gomez’s long pass down the right-hand channel allowed Ruiz to get ahead of his marker, take the ball around the keeper, and convert into an empty net, leveling the score for Spain.

In the 24th minute, Spain took the lead for the first time in the semi-final, courtesy of Sancet. A brilliant interchange involving Miranda and Ruiz led to Sancet’s superb right-footed strike finding the bottom left corner.

Just before the halftime whistle, Arnau Tenas made a remarkable save to deny Danylo Sikan’s header after impressive wing play from Mudryk.

The second half commenced, and Bondarenko attempted a shot from the edge of the area, but couldn’t keep it on target.

In the 53rd minute, Santi Denia’s side extended their lead as Antonio Blanco found the back of the net. Ukraine’s defense failed to clear the ball from a Spanish pull back, allowing Blanco to expertly finish into the bottom left corner, leaving Trubin with no chance.

A few minutes later, Tenas produced another brilliant save, denying Bondarenko’s curling effort in the 56th minute.

Substitute Aimar added a fourth goal for Spain in the 67th minute. Barrenetxea and Miranda displayed patient build-up play down the left-hand channel, allowing Aimar to curl the ball into the bottom right corner.

Manchester City’s Sergio Gomez added insult to injury for Ukraine, scoring Spain’s fifth goal in the 78th minute. He expertly curled a shot into the top left corner, capitalizing on a brilliant counter-attack by the Spaniards.

Spain’s victory extended their unbeaten run to 15 games as they head into the final against England, aiming to secure their sixth title. Although Ukraine’s tournament journey has come to an end, they have secured their place in the football Olympics tournament in Paris next summer.

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