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Spain's pass-and-move vs. Mali's run-and-shoot

27 October 2017, 01:02 | Lucy Hill

Spain celebrating a goal. | EPS

Spain celebrating a goal. | EPS

In a text message after Spain's 3-1 semi-final win against Mali, Ramos wished the players luck and said he would be watching the final.

A penalty and a great finish by Abel Ruiz saw Spain getting the edge over a physical Mali side.

Abel Ruiz scored a brace and a Ferran Torres goal saw the European champions beating Mali at Navi Mumbai in the semi-final.

It'll be pass-and-move versus run-and-shoot, tiki-taka versus an African racing auto when Spain face Mali in the U-17 World Cup semi-final in Navi Mumbai on Wednesday. It was the Spanish that took the lead via a penalty as Cesar Gelabert brought down in the box. Abel Ruiz made no mistake in clinching the opener as he hit the middle of the net, leaving goalkeeper Youssouf Koita helpless. 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.

Brewster goals came in the 10th, 39th and 77th minutes.

It caused moments of confusion on the Mali bench, as coach Jonas Komla and his technical team waited to see whether a fourth official, after watching the replay, might advise the ref that the ball and crossed the line.

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Torres then added a third goal when he finished off Mohamed Moukliss's low cross. Spain come into the game having found their attacking mojo, all the while showing why they are so good at keeping the ball.

Ruiz was the fulcrum around which his team rotated as Euro U-17 champions Spain overwhelmed a fighting Mali to emerge a clear victor at the DY Patil Stadium.

Mali's Lassana N'Diaye is the front-runner for the golden boot with five goals.

A total of 162 goals have been scored in this edition of the tournament so far - the third best behind UAE 2013 (172 goals) and Korea Republic 2007 (165).

England were the first to book their place in Saturday's decider after claiming an impressive 3-1 win over three-time champions Brazil at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.

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