Borini strikes to set up Italy-Spain final

The Liverpool striker’s cool 79th-minute finish settled a tense affair which had looked destined for extra-time before his intervention.The result sets up a clash of two Under-21 superpowers on Tuesday night, with Italy chasing a sixth title while Spain hunt a fourth.The Dutch came close to breaking the deadlock in just the fifth minute as Marco Verratti brought down Georgino Wijnaldum on the edge of the penalty area.Adam Maher took the resulting free-kick and Italy goalkeeper Francesco Bardi was rooted to his line as he watched the ball hit the outside of his left post.Holland were applying some pressure and won a series of corners but Bardi was able to deal with them before Kevin Strootman fired a shot from distance wide.Borini passed up a chance for Italy in the 29th minute as he won a free-kick but when Lorenzo Insigne supplied the resulting cross the 22-year-old could only head wide.
Ciro Immobile then brought a save out of Jeroen Zoet with the keeper having to stop his shot with his feet before Insigne fired wide from 25 yards. Daley Blind forced Bardi into a smart parry as the interval approached and but it was Italy who should have taken the lead three minutes before the break.Borini gathered the ball midway into his own half and ran into the penalty area but could only fire into the side-netting after bearing down on Zoet.
The second half proved to be a more cagey affair than the first and Borini’s speculative shot from distance which went wide was one of few chances.But the former Roma man’s next opportunity proved to be pivotal as he fired his team into the final.Insigne showed smart feet to beat his man on the edge of the box and played the ball in to Borini who took two touches on his right foot to get on his preferred side and slotted past Zoet into the far corner.
Holland substitute Leroy Fer should have equalised in the 89th minute as he leapt highest to connect with Maher’s corner but he could only head straight at the keeper.
The three-time champions will meet Italy, the winner of the second semi-final in Tuesday’s final. Spain nearly had the lead two minutes before half-time as Asier Illarramendi’s shot from the edge of the area was palmed away by Orjan Haskjold Nyland and Fredrik Semb Berge managed to clear away.
Just a minute later Nyland was called into action again as Cristian Tello hit a rasping shot from 20 yards out which the keeper did well to turn round the post.The Spaniards had their tails up and eventually took the lead on the stroke of half-time through Rodrigo.Thiago Alcantara swung in a corner which was headed into the air by a defender and, when Marc Bartra won the second header, he flicked the ball into the path of Rodrigo who volleyed past Nyland with the outside of his left foot.
Norway had a chance to equalise with five minutes remaining as Vegar Eggen Hedenstad’s set piece created confusion in the Spanish box but when the ball fell to Stefan Strandberg the centre-half could only put his shot over the bar from six yards out.The result was put beyond doubt in the 87th minute as Isco showed sublime skill to double the lead.
Morata found the Malaga forward on the edge of the penalty area and the 21-year-old first dropped his shoulder to beat his man before taking two strides forward and curling into the top corner with the outside of his right foot.And in the third minute of time added on Morata continued his record of scoring in every game of the tournament as he saw his initial shot saved by Nyland before curling in the rebound from a seemingly impossible angle.
(Source: FoxSport)

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