Iran get Tiki-Taka'ed' out of tournament after losing 1-3
Kochi: European champions Spain produced a quality exhibition of tiki-taka as they decimated Iran 3-1 to reach the semi-finals of the FIFA U-17 World Cup on Sunday.
Spain, one of the pre-tournament favourites, completely dominated the quarterfinal match as their one-touch passing game proved to be too good for the Asian giants, who were completely outplayed on the day.
Captain Abel Ruiz gave Spain the lead in the 13th minute before Sergio Gomez (60th) and Ferran Torres (67th) added a goal each.
For Iran, Saeid Karimi pulled one back in the 69th minute at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium. Spain, seeking their maiden title, now meet African champions Mali in Navi Mumbai in the second semi-finals on October 25.
This will be Spain's sixth appearance in the semi-finals in ninth attempt. The La Rojita were runners-up in 1991, 2003 and 2007 and finished third in 1997 and 2009.
Spain were the overwhelmingly dominant side with nearly 70 per cent possession. They had seven shots on target while Iran barely had any clear chance except for one in the closing stages of the match.
But for some fine saves by their goalkeeper Ali Gholam Zadeh, Iran would have lost by a bigger margin. Zadeh was busy all day as Spain made waves of attacks through their fast- paced passing football.
Valencia youth team winger Ferran Torres, who has been on the radar of Barcelona and Real Madrid, created a lot of problems for Iran throughout the match with his speedy runs and crosses from the
It was a completely different and unusually defensive Iran today as they did not look like a side, who had not lost any match before today.
They sorely missed suspended striker Younes Delfi who had scored twice in Iran shock upset of formidable Germany in the group stage.