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U21 Euro

Semi-final place in doubt for Sanches

Renato Sanches and his Portugal side face a battle to stay in the European U21 Championship after a 3-1 defeat against Spain. The Portuguese must now win their final group game against Macedonia on Friday to give themselves the best chance of finishing as the best runner-up and qualifying for the semi-finals.

In front of 15,000 spectators in Gdynia, Portugal made the better start against Spain but the post denied Daniel Podence giving them the lead in the 11th minute. The Spaniards were more clinical in front of goal, with Saúl Ñíguez (21) and Sandro Ramírez (65) putting them 2-0 up.

Bruma reduced the arrears with an eye-catching volley in the 77nd minute but Williams made sure of the three points for Spain in added time as they became the first team to book their place in the semi-finals. Sanches, who had a shot saved by the Spanish goalkeeper on the hour mark, was substituted in the 73rd minute.

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