- Abel Ruiz brace sends European champions into India 2017 final
- Tees up rerun of continental climax with England
- Their 3-1 win over Mali means Chile 2015 runners-up must now target bronze medal
Spain started brightly but were kept honest by a counter-attacking Mali, who saw Lassana N’Diaye clip the outside of the post inside the first ten minutes. However, the European champions were given an opening they did not spurn as captain Ruiz converted from the penalty spot after Cesar Gelabert was felled.
Mali were not cowed, pressing Spain and playing on the front foot, though this ultimately brought about La Rojita’s second. Gelabert again was the instigator, feeding Ruiz with a superb pass to see the No9 slot round the keeper from 20 yards.
Mali were far from beaten, though, playing with energy and positivity. They came desperately close to halving the deficit when Cheick Oumar Doucoure rattled the bar, but a slick move at the other end saw Ruiz and Sergio Gomez combine before Ferran home.
Hope glimmered for Mali when N’Diaye slotted home smartly with 15 minutes to go, but Spain held firm to reach the tournament finale.