After an opening loss to Brazil in their FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 campaign, Spain and starlet striker Abel Ruiz came to life against Niger in a 4-0 victory.
The win moves La Rojita to three points alongside the Africans, who beat Korea DPR in their opener, with the European champions ahead on goal difference.
Although Spain took some time to settle into the match, they opened the scoring in the 21st minute when Ruiz took advantage of a ball-watching Niger defence to finish simply in front of goal. The Barcelona youngster might have added another shortly after when he sprung free from a nicely worked free-kick, but he lifted his effort over from close range.
Ruiz’s double was completed soon after, however, with good movement off the ball and a quick reaction after his first shot was cut out from a corner kick in the 41st minute. Before the break, the Spaniards moved even further ahead after a free flowing team move found Sergio Gomez loose on the left wing, and a flying Cesar Gelabert volleyed his cross into the roof of the net.
The second half almost entirely belonged to Spain, and they added their fourth through Gomez in the dying minutes. The scoreline could have been even more lopsided, if not for the acrobatics of Niger goalkeeper Khaled Lawali.