Spain hosted Slovakia at La Cartuja in Seville for their final game of the group stages in the Euro 2020 tournament.
La Roja came with a poor start to the tournament having yet to secure a win in their group while Slovakia surprised many by winning against Poland on Match Day 1.
This was a crucial game from Spain to win in order to secure a qualification spot to the Round of 16.
The home side obviously started off on the front foot with the most possession in the game. It was a familiar sight of the Euro 2012 winners passing the ball with fluidity, however, lacking in a good poaching forward to convert chances.
Slovakia conceded a penalty early on when Atletico midfielder Koke clashed Jakub Hromada in the visitor’s box while going for the ball.
Unfortunately for Spain, Álvaro Morata’s shot from the penalty box was saved by Newcastle goalie Martin Dúbravka. This was La Roja’s fifth penalty in a row that was missed.
For a while in the first half, it seemed that Dúbravka was putting in a man of the match performance for his side as he kept dousing the fire of the Spanish counter attack.
However, the 32-year-old’s good form between the sticks soon came to an end as he let in a shocking own-goal on the half-hour mark. Whilst trying to clear the ball within the goal-line, the Slovak embarrassingly punched it into his own net, giving Spain an undeserved lead.
The nightmare only continued for Dúbravka as Spain managed to get a second goal in added time. From a failed clearance, Alberto Moreno fed a close cross into the Slovakia box to meet the head of Aymeric Laporte.
The first half ended 2-0 to the hosts.
By the second half, Spain was completely comfortable on the ball while the Slovakian defence just didn’t recover from their first half fumble.
Pablo Sarabia scored the third goal for his team from a low-cross to tap in passed Dúbravka. There was no coming back from Slovakia now.
Despite winning from a comfortable margin, Spain was still struggling to convert chances with their main striker, Morata. Throughout the game, the 28-year-old was getting easy chances served to him but he failed to make the most out of it.
Morata was subbed off in the 65th minute for Manchester City’s Ferran Torres, who went on to score a goal a few minutes later from his first touch of the ball.
Salt was added to the wound of Slovakia’s sloppy defensive output as they scored another own-goal in the 71st minute. This time, Juraj Kucka put the ball into his own net after a close-range save from Dúbravka hit his foot and deflected into the goal.
Spain secured a second-place finish with a surprisingly high score line.
Source of Image: UEFA EURO 2020 via Twitter
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