Spain on verge of first round exit at Euro 2020

Spain on verge of first round exit at Euro 2020

Former World and European champions Spain are in danger of failing to qualify for the knockout stage of the ongoing Euro 2020 after drawing their second Group E game against Poland 1-1 on Saturday.


Poland are also on the verge of exit.


The result leaves the Spanish with two points from their first two matches and the Poles with just one. Both sides need to win their last group games to avoid an early exit.


Spain coach Luis Enrique made only one change to the side that drew 0-0 with Sweden; bringing striker Gerard Moreno into the starting 11 and pairing him with the much-criticised Morata. Meanwhile, Poland played a 5-3-2 formation, with Robert Lewandowski the most advanced of their players.


The Polish began looking to take the game to Spain, with Mateusz Klich firing just over from distance. However, Spain began to take control, with Morata’s attempted chip headed clear. Although the Spanish were gaining terrain as the half progressed; the Poles were keeping their shape and Jordi Alba had to use his pace to stop Lewandowski’s surging run forward.


Spain took the lead with a moment of suspense in the 27th minute. Moreno’s cross-shot landed for Morata to slip the ball past Wojciech Szczesny.


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The flag went up for offside, but after being reviewed by the VAR, the goal was given.


Moreno hit a free-kick just wide soon afterwards as Spain continued to dominate. But Poland nearly equalised in the 43rd minute. Karol Swiderski’s left foot effort bounced off the post to Lewandowski; whose powerful shot was well blocked by Unai Simon.


Lewandowski drew Poland level in the 53rd minute, outjumping Aymeric Laporte to score with a towering header; as the defender complained about a push. But Spain were awarded a penalty kick barely a minute later. Jakob Moder was penalised for catching Moreno high and late with his studs.


Moreno picked himself up but sent his penalty kick against the post; while the onrushing Morata was unable to direct the rebound into the open goal. Ferran Torres replaced Dani Olmo and Pablo Sarabia came on for Moreno; as Spain continued to look for a win, with Szczesny saving a bouncing effort from Morata.


The Spanish were controlling the ball. But as against Sweden on Monday, they were failing to impose enough rhythm in their play to really trouble the Polish defence.


Two defensive errors from the Poles led to a couple of goalmouth scrambles; with Rodri firing a powerful shot straight at Szczesny. But unless Spain pick up their game in their opponents’ penalty area, they risk crashing out.


Spain play the Slovakia in their final group game while Poland play Sweden.


Source: NAN

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