Soccer-Alcantara hat-trick leads Spain to Euro Under-21 crown (Reuters)

JERUSALEM, June 18 (Reuters) – Captain Thiago Alcantara scored a first-half hat-trick to inspire Spain to a 4-2 win over Italy in the European Under-21 championship final on Tuesday. The defending champions had little difficulty in breaking down Italy’s unusually hesitant defence as Barcelona’s Alcantara scored with an easy header in the sixth minute, a close-range drive in the 31st and a penalty in the 38th. Italy briefly lived in hope when Genoa forward Ciro Immobile chipped calmly over Spain goalkeeper David De Gea in the ninth minute to equalise at 1-1. …

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