Spain reach semis as holders pay penalty

There was drama in the first quarter-final at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Uruguay 2018 as Spain defeated reigning champions Korea DPR 3-1 on penalties after the match finished 1-1.

There wasn’t much that separated the two sides in the first half initially, but Spain grew into the match and produced a few chances before the break. In the 40th minute, captain Eva Navarro broke through on goal and had a one-on-one opportunity but chipped her shot just wide of the Korean net.

Three minutes later Paola Hernandez produced a fiercely-hit shot, forcing Korea DPR goalkeeper Yu Son-Gum into making an acrobatic save.

Spain continued to knock on Korea DPR’s door in the second half through chances from Salma Paralluelo and Irene Lopez but it was Claudia Pina who finally broke the deadlock.

Pina pounced on a poor clearance by Pak Hye-Gyong and finished from close range to give La Roja the lead. However it would be one that was short-lived.

Korea DPR responded with an equaliser three minutes later when Kim Kyong-Yong headed over Spain’s keeper Cataina Coll from a corner kick.

Paralluelo had a chance to win the game at the conclusion of stoppage time, but Yu Son-Gum came up with a crucial save to send the game to penalties.

Coll made amends after conceding the equaliser and saved Korea DPR’s first two kicks to ultimately lead Spain to victory, with Nerea Nevado producing the winning penalty.

Spain will face the winner of Japan and New Zealand’s quarter-final on Wednesday 28 November at 16:00 (local time) at the Estadio Charrua in Montevideo.

Player of the match: Catalina Coll (ESP)

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