Spain avoids a bigger cante against the Czech Republic | Sports | The USA Print


A goal from Iñigo Martínez in the twilight of the game relieved a Spain that gave the song in Prague. The Czech Republic, a very flat team, had it one step away from the gutter. A couple of distant balls made the ramshackle defense of the Red shiver, so little symphonic all day. of fireworks Fortunately for Spain, there are no alarms on. Qatar is almost six months away, but a round table will be necessary to avoid another similar mess.

Czech Republic


Vaclik, Brabec, Ales Mateju, David Zima, Tomas Soucek, Michal Sadilek, Jaroslav Zeleny (Jankto, min. 23), Coufal, Jan Kuchta, Pesek (Adam Hlozek, min. 58) and Ondrej Lingr



Unai Simón, Eric Garcia, Íñigo Martínez, Dani Carvajal, Marcos Alonso, Rodrigo (Busquets, min. 60), Gavi, Koke (Marcos Llorente, min. 71), Sarabia (Ferrán Torres, min. 45), De Tomás (Morata , min. 60) and Dani Olmo (Marco Asensio, min. 60)

goals 1-0 min. 3: Pesek. 1-1 min. 47: Gavi. 2-1 min. 65: Jan Kuchta. 2-2 min. 89: Inigo Martinez.

Yellow cards Rodrigo (min. 57) and Coufal (min. 91)

England, France, Croatia… Spain. There are classics that don’t kick in this League of Nations, a new format from UEFA to inject combustion into the warm-up friendlies. Alibis don’t work, but it’s June and many arrive full of football. For the selections of less poster it is his moment. So Czechia was Czechia. Spain was a ridiculous version of Spain until Iñigo Martínez’s final draw.

Until the jump of the Basque center-back, a slow selection from the start, without tact afterwards and always poorly exposed to the simple local attack. Her rival had her against the ropes with balls until a header from the Athletic brigade slipped through a phalanx after the pertinent VAR review. A lesser evil for Spain, which was already five points behind the Czechs.

The formality of the touch is not enough. Pure rhetoric. In the first act, with the Czech Republic still with all the deposit, only Gavi took Spain out of the general penalty. The young Barça midfielder has plenty of cheek. Only he ventured against the massive Czech defense until he rescued the equalizer when the interval came. The Andalusian received a filtered pass from Rodri in the middle of the local safari, he was not put down by the crocodiles and adjusted the ball in the net with a delicate shot with his left foot. A historic embouchure. At 17 years old, by seven days apart, he is already the youngest Spanish scorer ahead of his Barcelona comrade Ansu Fati.

Gavi and nothing else. Well, yes, a mismatch by Carvajal that caused the Czech goal before five minutes. Spain put the offside trap, but the Madrid side was not in sync. Kutcha headed towards the Spanish ranch and assisted Pesek with Unai’s door wide open. With what little the Red was whipped. With what little he tried to remedy it until the final period.

Behind, a football Siberia

There will be not a few rivals that Luis Enrique’s team will come across that will mirror the Czech Republic. How much longing No trace of Viktor, Masopust, Nehoda, Panenka, Nedved… The great Czech hotbed withered long ago. Today there is an invigorating team —more in the heat of their bonfire—, direct and very warm. The ball, for Spain. But hardly anyone was his benefactor. Moreover, the ball suffered numerous unexpected sprains. La Roja is not a team with crooked feet, but disappointments and jeremiads abounded in Prague. Bad controls, passes with the bunion… It was not the day for the visitors, with eight changes compared to the challenge with Portugal last Thursday. Only Unai Simón, Gavi and Sarabia had a thread.

It was difficult for Luis Enrique’s men to take flight along the banks as he likes. Full-backs and wingers blocked each other and the use of Raúl de Tomás —almost always with his back to the goal— was a bargain for the three Czech central defenders. Until Luis Enrique did not alter the entire offensive line there were no attacking crumbs of his own. Ferran and Asensio had more spice. The first one was frustrated by a heel strike by former Sevilla goalkeeper Vaclik and a header went by a finger. Asensio, without spotlights in the Red since November 2020 (6-0 against Germany), finished off Vaclik’s left post in his first intervention.

Spain already warned, but behind it was a football Siberia. Each Czech pitch from his field was a mockery for Luis Enrique’s sentinels. Before the hour, Marcos Alonso reproduced Carvajal’s mistake at 1-0, but Kutcha lost his shot after an assist from Marte with Spain out of place. Even more kindergarten was 2-1. Another service from their own field once again portrayed the visiting rearguard, especially Eric García, knotted against Kutcha, accurate this time by chopping the ball with a spoon on Unai’s fringe. The final arreón found the prize in the jump of Iñigo Martínez. It could be worst. Before the challenge with Switzerland, Spain to the room to think. It is what touches after the bad expert opinion in Prague.

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