- Luis Enrique’s team once again dominated their rival but lacked forcefulness in the areas and paid dearly against the Czech Republic
- Gavi, the youngest scorer, and Iñigo Martínez scored at the end of each half for a Spain that was always in tow on the scoreboard
Another puncture for Spain, the second in a row, in another match in which they dominated but failed too much in the areas. And he paid dearly against a grown Czech Republic after winning the first match of this Nations League. The hosts went ahead twice thanks to goals from Pesek and Kuchta, but Gavi, who made history by becoming the team’s youngest scorer, and Iñigo Martínez equalized at the end of each half. Another draw that leaves La Roja still depending on itself but two points behind its rival and Portugal, who thrashed Switzerland and is the new leader of group A2.
The Czech Republic believed it from the start. It warned only to take off the center and forced a corner that already set the local public on fire, which finally filled the Sinobo Stadium. But after four minutes, with the initial rush, the Czechs came back on top. Carvajal failed to break the offside and Kuchta, before Unai Simón left, gave in to Pesek, who only had to push her on goal. The play was reviewed but the position of the Czech 10 was legal and the goal went up on the scoreboard.
A hard initial blow for Spain, which had to be patient. Especially because with the advantage on the scoreboard, the Czech Republic fell back in a clear 5-4-1, with all their players always behind the ball when Luis Enrique’s team attacked. The locals left very few spaces, as the Spanish coach already warned, and La Roja felt especially uncomfortable. It dominated, he had the ball, but it was very difficult for him to step in the opposite area.
The first clear arrival was halfway through the first half. An action by Raúl de Tomás in depth. The Espanyol striker was left behind for Sarabia, who was unable to direct his shot on goal. He looked for the thread but did not find it.
draw against ten
But before the break, Silhavy gave Spain an advantage. The Czech coach had already used a substitution window in the 24th minute due to Zeleny’s injury. Jankto entered, from Getafe, who also had to retire in the 45th minute, but the referee added four more. The local coach took a risk, preferring to wait for the break to make the change and his team played with one player minus the addition. And the Spanish team did not forgive. Rodrigo assisted Gavi, who was inside the area controlled and placed well out of Vaclik’s reach. A goal that made the Barça youth player the youngest player to score with the national team (17 years and 304 days), beating his teammate Ansu Fati by seven days.
The Andalusian’s goal reassured Spain and proved Luis Enrique was right, who asked for patience from the wing against the Czech bolt. After the restart, the Spanish team came out determined to complete the comeback. Olmo had two good chances, a shot that missed the target and a forced shot after a cross from Ferran, who entered after the break.
The locals followed the marked script. Solid and against. In one of these, Kuchta forgave in a face-to-face with Unai Simón after beating the back of the defense and taking advantage of a filtered ball. He wanted to adjust too much and threw out. The match was much more open and Ferran put Vaclik to the test, who pulled reflexes to get an acrobatic shot from the Barcelona striker. Asensio also had it, in the first one that he touched at game time. The post prevented his goal.
But Spain again neglected their backs, Kuchta took advantage of it with quality to score Vaseline before Unai’s departure. A great goal that again left the Spanish defense in evidence.
The team was rushed after the second of the Czech Republic. Luis Enrique had already taken out the entire arsenal. Busquets, Ferran, Morata, Asensio… and later Llorente attempt an epic comeback. But to the ineffectiveness of Spain in front of goal, we must add the lack of a little point of luck, always necessary.
As in Ferran Torres’s shot after 2-1. His header hit the root of the stick. There was no way. Morata also tried, with a shot that went up in the final stretch, with the Spanish team upside down. And in the last minute, it was 2-2 after a header from Iñigo Martínez that hit the crossbar before bouncing inside. The VAR verified that the ball had crossed the line and went up to the scoreboard.
But it didn’t happen from here. There was no time for the epic and Spain again left two points that force him to take out the calculator for the remainder of the first phase. They can’t fail anymore.