Morata and Sancet score late: Spain is heading for the European Championships

Thanks to a 2-0 win against Scotland, Spain were on course to take part in the European Championship in Group A, while the British, who are still leaders, missed out on early qualification.

Put Spain on course for victory against Scotland: Captain Alvaro Morata (right).

Put Spain on course for victory against Scotland: Captain Alvaro Morata (right).

IMAGO/PA Images

Compared to the 6-0 win in the qualifying game against Cyprus in mid-September, coach Luis de la Fuente made three changes to Spain: Instead of Gaya, Lamine Yamal (muscular problems) and Williams, Balde, Ferran Torres and Oyarzabal started.

For Scotland, coach Steve Clarke also made three changes compared to the last international match, the 1:3 against England in mid-September: McKenna, Christie and Dykes started instead of the injured Tierney as well as Gilmour and Adams.

Merino hits the post, Robertson injured

Spain started with a lot of momentum and could have taken the lead early on: Morata passed through for Ferran Torres after not much more than 60 seconds, but he then pushed the ball just past the right post from a central position (2nd). Shortly afterwards, Morata himself missed the goal from a tight angle near the right post (5th).

As the first half progressed, Spain maintained a clear dominance in terms of play, but found it much more difficult to get clear shots than in the opening minutes. Scotland defended in a disciplined manner with a narrow bar, starting around 20 meters from their own goal. Every now and then the British managed to make relief attacks, but it didn’t become dangerous.

But it was painful – because captain Robertson collided with Spain keeper Unai Simon in the home team’s penalty area in the 41st minute and injured his right shoulder so badly that he had to be replaced by Patterson before the break (44th). Previously, the former Dortmund player Merino had the best chance of the first half for the Iberians, but failed at the inside post (35th). So it went into the break goalless.

After the break, de la Fuente brought on Granada’s shooting star Zaragoza and Fran Garcia for Oyarzabal and Balde (46′). Even though Zaragoza fired a warning shot from distance (49′) and Morata pushed a bit past the goal a little later (56′), things initially stayed the same: Despite their superiority in play, there were hardly any clear shots for the Spaniards.

McTominay’s dream goal doesn’t count – Morata decides

In the 60th minute the Scots suddenly cheered! During one of the visitors’ rare advances, Carvajal fouled Christie – and McTominay wonderfully flicked the free kick into the goal from a very tight angle near the goal line. But after a video check by referee Serdar Gözübüyük, the goal was revised because Hendry was just offside during the free kick and also hindered Unai Simon with a slight push.

Around ten minutes later, Joker Jesus Navas made it 1-0 with a precise cross, which Morata scored with a header (73′). The Scots promptly switched to the offensive. Adams was denied by Unai Simon from close range (81′), Armstrong’s shot from very close range was blocked by Rodri at the last moment (83′). The decision was ultimately made in the 86th minute when – after Hickey slightly lost the ball – two more Spanish jokers struck: Ex-Bundesliga player Joselu prepared Sancet’s 2-0 final score.

Spain continues in Group A on Sunday (8.45 p.m.) in another important game in Norway. Scotland’s next game is the away game in Georgia on November 16th.

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