Exciting times for Spain’s hat-trick hero García

She may wear the No17 shirt but there is no disguising the fact that Lucía García is Spain’s ‘No9’ at this UEFA European Women’s Under-17 Championship.

The centre-forward not only leads the Icelandic tournament’s strike chart; three of her unrivalled four goals came in the shape of a 28-minute first-half hat-trick against continental title holders and four-time champions Germany on Thursday. García scored twice from perfect Patricia Guijarro passes before completing the triptych with another first-time finish, this one on the volley, from Carmen Menayo’s cutback.

The treble in Akranes supplemented her quickfire equaliser against England on matchday one – and left the 16-year-old “absolutely thrilled”. “It felt great – to score three against Germany is a source of pride and great satisfaction,” she said, “but it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of my team-mates. But yes, I’m delighted.”

Spain’s resounding 4-0 win puts the Group A leaders on the brink of semi-final qualification ahead of Sunday’s concluding game against already eliminated Iceland. García, who has been aided and abetted by wide attackers Menayo and Natalia Montilla, reiterates that it is a team effort by Pedro López’s side. “What matters is the team and our performances. If I can help with goals, even better,” continued García, author of one goal in three qualifiers en route to Reykjavik.

Even so, it was the player from the Oviedo Moderno club, in the northern Spanish province of Asturias, who delivered the knockout blows to the German heavyweights. The reaction, García says, has been “unbelievable”. “I’ve had so many messages, stuff on Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter – I suppose that’s football for you. We’ve got quite a few people following us and the whole thing is really exciting.”

With two-time WU17 champions Spain poised to book a semi-final versus France, Switzerland or Norway, there may yet be another admirable hat-trick looming for the Iberian outfit later next week.