Kochi, Oct 13 (PTI) Mohamed Moukhliss and Cesar Gelabert struck a goal each as European champions Spain secured a ticket to the Round of 16 with a comfortable 2-0 win over North Korea in the FIFA U-17 World Cup here today.
Moukhliss opened the scoring as early as in the fourth minute, while Gelabert doubled the lead by striking one in the 71st minute.
Spain finished the league engagements in Group D in second position with six points behind leaders Brazil. Spain lost to Brazil in their tournament opener, but bounced back with a 4-0 rout of Niger.
At the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Spain had no trouble against their opponents from Korea, and the match went on expected lines.
With this result, North Korea bow out of the tournament without a win.
The first goal came when Moukhliss shot one from the centre of the box off an assist by Gelabert.
The Spanish dominated the game and had the lion’s share of possession throughout.
Gelabert added the second goal in the second half, as his right-footed shot from a very close range found the back of the net.
So dominant was Spain that they even came close to scoring in the injury time of the second half.
Spain had come into the tournament as one of the title favourites. They had started well against the South American giants Brazil, before defensive lapses saw them go down 1-2.
But now, they are raring to go as they begin their campaign in the knockout phase.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.