Spain regains control against Scotland and sees the Euro Cup | Soccer | Sports
The Spain that left Glasgow shivering in March has made a growth spurt. From Scotland to Scotland. From a coach highlighted after his first steps, to a coach who has put together a solid block in which any player who falls works. Bryan Zaragoza, Fran García and Oihan Sancet made their debut in La Cartuja, and the machinery flowed as if the pieces were the same as those from the League of Nations, or those from the defeats of Georgia and Cyprus. Morata also remains the same, and headed in to unclog the match and place himself, with 34, just one goal behind David Silva as the team’s fourth all-time top scorer. Spain regained its footing in Seville, and is once again in a position to finish first in the qualifying phase for next summer’s Euro Cup in Germany.
Unai Simón, Laporte, Dani Carvajal (Jesús Navas, min. 67), Le Normand, Alex Balde (Fran Garcia, min. 45), Rodrigo, Merino (O. Sancet, min. 67), Gavi, Morata (Joselu, min. . 84), Ferrán Torres and Oyarzabal (Bryan Zaragoza, min. 45)
Angus Gunn, Scott McKenna, A. Robertson (Patterson, min. 43), Ryan Porteous, Aaron Hickey, Hendry, McTominay, McGregor (Kenny McLean, min. 87), McGinn, Ryan Christie (Armstrong, min. 79) y Dykes (Che Adams, min. 78)
Goals 1-0 min. 73: Morata. 2-0 min. 86: O. Sancet.
Referee Serdar Gözübüyük
Yellow cards Dykes (min. 35), Merino (min. 48), Patterson (min. 50), Dani Carvajal (min. 58), Unai Simón (min. 60), Hendry (min. 83) and Laporte (min. 90)
The match at La Cartuja was very similar to the one at Hampden Park, and also had very different features. As in Glasgow, Scotland played what they knew they could play, the plan that had brought them to this point in the calendar, with five wins in five games. One point was enough for them to qualify for the Euro Cup. Enough with holding on. But unlike what happened in Glasgow, Spain retained control of the scene.
He threw himself at the ball from the moment it started rolling. As soon as he reached Scottish feet, Morata, Gavi, Oyarzabal, Rodri and Merino appeared. Once again the voracious version of La Roja, which left no opportunity for Scotland to stretch. The most striking thing they showed were the throw-ins by Dykes, and then by Porteus. They were very long deliveries, at the height of the penalty spot, but the only striker on the team was missing there, precisely Dykes, almost 1.90 meters standing on the wing in his ritual of drying the ball with his shirt and making it fly towards a area in which it did not worry Le Normand and Laporte.
The center backs spent more time looking forward than back. Scotland lived parked in their field, and Laporte advanced and advanced looking for corridors to filter passes. That scouting task was, in reality, everyone’s task, under the direction of Rodri, who seems to play on a mound, as if he were observing the game from above. He took the game from one side to the other, but Scotland did not get disorganized enough. Or Spain behaved too predictably.
Scotland withstood those perimeter approaches well. They didn’t seem to be bothered by this life of waiting. Spain only saw some light when she abandoned that routine and launched herself effectively to break the defensive line. When she assumed one more point of risk. This is how he gave the first scare, with a filtered pass from Morata in the center to Ferran Torres. But the shot went inches wide of the post.
He also came close with a run by Gavi, who left the ball behind for a shot by Oyarzabal that was blocked by the defense. The rebound was sent by Merino to the post.
The risky path seemed the only one capable of disturbing a team that was defending the tie. And after the break, De la Fuente put the maximum risk on the grass, Bryan Zaragoza, a guy who has only played nine First Division games and who on Sunday night, after scoring two goals against Barça with Granada, found out about that the next day he had to appear in Las Rozas. At 22 years old, he had not even seen himself on a pre-list. Many hugged him before leaving the tunnel, especially Unai Simón. And Zaragoza made his debut as if he were still playing the Los Cármenes game: two dribbles and a shot in the first that he touched, a foul caused in the second, a cross with venom in the third… Pure vertigo.
But in the middle of the assault, the panic moved to the other area. McTominay, who scored two against Spain in Glasgow, converted a direct free kick from the side of the area, a bingo so unexpected that the Scots began to laugh. But the VAR froze when it found a footballer offside. Spain was able to continue doing its thing on the other side, where the resistance was beginning to dissolve.
The castle was finally brought down by Morata, who headed into the net after a cross from Navas came from behind. The Atlético striker remains enlightened: this season he has 11 goals in 12 games between his club and the national team. The goal was a huge relief for De la Fuente on the wing, and the finishing touch to Scottish endurance. Hickey slipped away, Joselu stole the ball from him, put it in the area and Sancet, who was also making his debut, ended up scoring halfway with a defender. In De la Fuente’s Spain everything now works, between whoever enters.
You can follow EL PAÍS Deportes in Facebook y Xclick here to receive our weekly newsletter.