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Jun 15, 2013

Spain cruise past Norway

Spain are through to the final of the European Under-21 Championship, where they will meet Italy, after beating Norway 3-0 in a dominant display in Netanya.

Molde goalkeeper Ørjan Nyland had kept the tournament favourites at bay with some fine saves but the opening goal finally came in first half stoppage time as Rodrigo hooked home after poor marking by Norway.

Chances were few and far between for Tor Ole Skullerud's side and moments after they missed a gilt edged chance to force extra-time the tie was beyond them.

Isco, almost certain to leave Malaga later this summer and destined for bigger things, superbly turned his man just inside the area before firing into the top corner with the outside of his right foot in the 87th minute.

And the gloss was put on the performance in the third minute of added time as Alvaro Morata again came off the bench to score. Nyland saved his initial effort but Morata somehow managed to squeeze home the rebound from the tightest of angles. It was his fourth goal of the tournament and he leads the scoring charts having scored in every match despite having made only one start.

Spain will play Italy in the final Jerusalem on Tuesday after the Azzurri beat Netherlands 1-0 in Petah Tikva.

The Liverpool striker's cool 79th-minute finish settled a tense affair which had looked destined for extra-time before his intervention. The result sets up a clash of two Under-21 superpowers on Tuesday night, with Italy chasing a sixth title while Spain hunt a fourth.

Netherlands substitute Leroy Fer should have equalised in the 89th minute as he leapt highest to connect with Maher's corner but he could only head straight at the keeper.

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