Spain stretched their unbeaten run in competitive games to 24 as they secured their place as Group B winners with a 3-0 victory over fellow semi-finalists Holland, while Germany collected their first win of the tournament to send Russia home pointless after a 2-1 win.
The reigning champions were impressive in their disposal of the Jong Oranje and will now face Norway in the semi-finals. Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata made it three in three as he took advantage of the decision to start him by tapping in Pablo Sarabia’s unselfish square after 25 minutes, before midfield maestro Isco lifted in a delicate lob to leave Spanish fans purring. David de Gea was in imperious form at the other end, keeping out chances from Mike van der Hoorn and Adam Maher, although he had the crossbar to thank when Memphis Depay and Danny Hoesen both struck the woodwork. But the Spaniards extended their lead with Sarabia the provider again, crossing for Alvaro Vazquez to net number three in stoppage time.
Morata is now the tournament’s top scorer, while teammate Isco is surely a contender for the Golden Ball alongside fellow midfielders Maher and Marco Verratti. Despite the comfortable margin of victory, it was the first time Spain had won a game by more than one goal following 1-0 victories over Russia and Germany which mean they are the only side to finish the group stage with a 100% record. Yet Holland can hardly be disappointed, with their progression from the group assured and a second string side put out with the likes of Kevin Strootman, Luuk de Jong and Georginio Wijnaldum all sat on the bench and rested for a clash with Italy.
The other game on the night was a contest for pride between already eliminated Russia and Germany, which went in the latter’s favour. Rainer Adrion’s side were behind after 22 minutes though, when Alan Dzagoev fired past Oliver Baumann; but Patrick Herrmann scored a deserved equaliser for Germany after he bundled home from close range. Russian left-back Georgi Schennikov saw red just before the break, and substitute Sebastian Rudy scored his second penalty of the tournament to put Germany in front for the first time. They were able to hold on – despite Fyodor Smolov’s late chance – to see out their first win.
A disappointing time in Israel comes to an end for both teams with the 2009 champions picking up their first points despite being tipped by many to be one of the stronger teams in the competition, and Russia bowing out without getting on the board.
Group winners Spain will face Norway in the semi-finals on 15th June, and runners-up Holland will face off against Italy in what is set to be an interesting tie on the same night.
Spain 1-0 Russia (Morata)
Netherlands 3-2 Germany (Maher, Wijnaldum, Fer; Rudy, Holtby)
Netherlands 5-1 Russia (Wijnaldum, de Jong, John, Hoesen, Fer; Cheryshev)
Germany 0-1 Spain (Morata)
Spain 3-0 Netherlands (Morata, Isco, Alvaro)
Russia 1-2 Germany (Dzagoev; Herrmann, Rudy)