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Page last updated at 16:01 GMT, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 17:01 UK

England lose in semi of European Under-19 Championships

John Bostock
Bostock scored a superb volley before half time

England crashed out of the European Under-19 Championships after suffering a 3-1 semi-final defeat to Spain.

Spain took an early lead after unmarked Daniel Pacheco side-footed past keeper Declan Rudd from just inside the box.

Keko then waltzed through the England defence to double the lead before John Bostock's superb 25-yard volley reduced the deficit just before the break.

But Sergio Canales's close-range finish from Thiago Alcántara's dinked 20-yard free-kick sealed victory for Spain.

Afterwards, England coach Noel Blake admitted he was disappointed not to have got to the final but still saw reason for optimism.

"We failed trying to do the right things and I'd rather see my players doing that," he said. "Since I've been with England this is the best youth team I've seen at getting the basics right.

"There are a number of individuals who have done really well for us and if we get four or five players to progress from this, well, that's the idea.

"They've shown enough promise to warrant staying in the system. To finish in the top four teams in Europe is a mini-achievement for us."

England started the game well with Ryan Donaldson forcing a fine save from goalkeeper Alex in the opening exchanges.

But, from that point in, a brilliant Spanish side completely dominated the encounter and thoroughly deserved their victory.

Pachego's 12th minute effort sent them on their way, finishing from inside the area after decent work down the right wing from Keko.

Their second was an excellent team effort which saw Spain pass their way through the England midfielder before Keko beat several defenders and slid the ball past the on-rushing Rudd.

But, just when England looked like they might be on the receiving end of a heavy defeat, substitute Bostock got them back into the game with his low volley that found the bottom left hand corner of Alex's net.

After the break Martín Montoya's right-wing cross was put wide by Rodrigo following more great build up from Spain.

And soon after they got their third and again it came in spectacular fashion.

Spain were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area and after shaping to strike the ball Alcántara instead dinked the ball over the England wall to Canales who beat Rudd from close range.

England had a chance to pull one back soon after, but Donaldson put Frank Nouble's cross wide after a decent run from Nathan Delfouneso.

Spain had further chances through Keko, Canales and substitute Rúben Rochina but Rudd proved equal to their efforts.

France also advanced to Friday's final after coming from a goal down to beat Croatia 2-1.

Arijan Ademi nodded the Croats in front in the fourth minute, but Chelsea winger Gael Kakuta equalised eight minutes before the break before substitute Cedric Bakambu netted an 83rd-minute winner for the hosts.

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see also
England Under-19s into Euro semi
24 Jul 10 |  Football
England Under-19s lose to Dutch
21 Jul 10 |  Football
England Under-19s win Euro opener
18 Jul 10 |  Football
McClaren bemoans talent 'vacuum'
16 Jul 10 |  Football
England Under-17s win Euro title
31 May 10 |  Football

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