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U-17 WC: Ramos will watch Spain play in final

27 October 2017

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.

Abel Ruiz emerged as the star of the show as he opened the scoring from the penalty spot after 19 minutes before doubling his and his side's tally in the 43rd minute, neatly finishing Youssouf Koita after being released by Cesar Gelabert's visionary through-pass.

Mali also had a goal that appeared legitimate denied as it was not signalled "in" by the assistant referee. In the third minute, Spain's Sergio Gomez missed from within 10 yards after a cross from Abel Ruiz in the right flank reached the No.10 unmarked.

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Spain registered a 3-1 win over Mali in the second semi-final of the Federation Internationale de Football Association U-17 World Cup 2017 at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday. After several attempts on goal from both teams, Gelabert was fouled in the box when his deft turn drew a foul from Abdoulaye Diaby to give Spain a penalty. Mali came back strong with shots on goal, putting Spain under pressure, but the end-product wasn't there as they were punished as they headed for the break.

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.

A first-half brace from Abel Ruiz and a third goal by Ferran Torres in the second-half sealed Spain's progression into the final.

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The reigning European U-17 champions lost by identical 0-1 margins to Ghana and Brazil in the finals of the 1991 and 2003 editions respectively. Mali should have got their reward in the 59 minute as Doucoure's stinging shot from distance zoomed past Alvaro, hit the underside of the crossbar, bounced past the goal line and came back out.

The final on Saturday means one of Spain or England will become U-17 World Cup champions for the very first time.

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U-17 WC: Ramos will watch Spain play in final