|International Matches - Under 20|
Spain 2 - Canada 1
Bouzón, Carlos García, Melli, Peña; Vitolo, Gabi; Juanfran
(Corominas 66'), Iniesta, Gavilán (Manu 75'); Sergio García
(Arizmendi 84'). 4-2-3-1.
A golden goal from Atlético Madrid's Arizmendi against Canada was enough to take Spain through to the semi-finals of the youth world cup. It was hard work though in a match which Armando Ufarte's side should have wrapped up in the first half, but which became more complicated as time wore on.
The youngsters had the better of the opening minutes, with Gabi and Vitolo testing Karim and Sergio García unlucky not to get a penalty when the referee ruled that a foul on him by the keeper was just outside the area. Ten minutes before the break Iniesta gave Spain the lead, sliding the ball under Karim after a long through ball from Melli, and when Gavilán thundered a shot against the post soon afterwards it appeared that the Europeans were cruising.
However things started to go wrong in the first quarter of an hour of the second half, and Oldham striker Iain Hume levelled the scores with a magnificent strike, collecting a loose ball just over the halfway line and running on to crash the ball wide of Riesgo. Two minutes later Hume came very close to getting a second, his free kick bouncing back off the post, and Spain were left with ten men a short time after that when Vitolo picked up a second booking.
Armando Ufarte didn't hesitate though in bringing on two attacking substitutes as time ran out, Atlético Madrid forwards Manu and Arizmendi both coming on for Gavilán and Sergio García, and both proved a danger as the Canadians failed to take advantage of the extra man. With the scores level after ninety minutes the game went into sudden death extra time, and in the fifth minute a long free kick was not cleared by the defence, and Arizmendi took advantage to round Karim and tap the ball into the net.
Spain had scraped through, and next Monday they will play their semi-final against Colombia, who beat hosts UAE later in the day. If they are successful, they will face the winner of the match between Brazil and Argentina in the final in a week's time.