An elementary action, as simple and as valuable as well-served leather and a manual cross head, unraveled the convoluted game against Australia, which shaped the afternoon until two left-handers of good pedigree teamed up and unlocked a fundamental victory.
The men's soccer team breathes better.
from coming and going that is Asensio masterfully twisted his ankle and Oyarzabal his neck when the story looked bad and the urgencies intensified. However, the duo's ticking, so simple, so beautiful and so valuable, surrendered to the oceanic and, that's the way things are, from the mess and intrigue they went to privilege: with 4 points and at the forefront of the group, Spain depends on herself to reach the quarters. A draw on Wednesday against Argentina, superior to Egypt (0-1), would guarantee first place.
From the outset, De la Fuente looked for variables in order to stimulate the rhythm and reactivate the circulation of the ball, the game was too predictable and excessively slow in Thursday's premiere against the Africans.
The coach, then, maneuvered before the forced casualties of Mingueza and Ceballos, injured, and dispensed with Miranda and Asensio in the eleven, directly erasing Merino from the list.
Instead of the Navarrese, he opted for the anchor by Zubimendi, an academic diffuser, with less physical impact but always efficient when it comes to oxygenate the output of the ball, and on the right side of the Basque he introduced Carlos Soler, incisive from the second row.
Australia Tom Glover, Joel King, Thomas Deng, Nathaniel Atkinson, Harry Souttar, Denis Genreau, Lachlan Wales, Connor Metcalfe, Daniel Arzani (Marco Tilio, min. 62), Mitchell Duke and Riley McGree Spain Unai Simón, Eric Garcia, Cucurella, Pau Torres, Óscar Gil (Rafa Mir, min. 76), Carlos Soler (Marco Asensio, min. 67), Pedri, Martín Zubimendi, Oyarzabal, Dani Olmo and Javi Puado (Bryan Gil Salvatierra, min. 56)
Referee Bamlak Tessema Weyesa Yellow cards Óscar Gil (min. 2), Lachlan Wales (min. 42), Riley McGree (min. 51), Mitchell Duke (min. 56), Unai Simón (min. 90) and Nathaniel Atkinson (min. 94)
He wanted to spice up the end with the entrance to Puado and Óscar Gil and Cucurella started on the lanes. The former won the yellow after two minutes for showing his elbow to Arzani, the most upright Australian, a sprinter with an overflow who later made a mess without major consequences on the baseline. That was the only spark of the rival in the whole game. The rest, peace for Simón and the ball for Spain, deeper and more dynamic, with Pedri as the main generator. Almost everything good that happened was born from the canary, from its peripheral gaze. The azulgrana plays with six eyes and reads like no other.
As soon as he raised his head, he created danger. The first time he did so, he spotted Soler's incursion and leaked a delicate pass that the Valencian could not control, and if he had done so, he would have called him directly with the goalkeeper. Afterwards, he impaled the leather from the front and tested Glover's grip, the goalkeeper well placed after a heeled shot from Soler. It was already played exclusively in the Australian field and Oyarzabal was activated. The Gipuzkoan influenced the offense and drew the best chance, with a dry left foot that crashed off the crossbar and echoed in the icy landscape of the Sapporo stadium.
Again, Spain controlled and proposed, and again it encountered a rival who replied in the form of an armadillo. Two lines of four firm by Australia, entrenched behind around the giant Souttar (1.98), renouncing the adventure and clinging to the reward that he obtained on the first day against Argentina. I mean, the tie was a candy. The formula worked for him, until in the final stretch he paid the racanería. By then, De la Fuente had already moved a piece with Bryan Gil, Asensio and Rafa Mir. The first one looked unbalanced and destabilized, holy water, and the Madridista began to show his paw.
He drew a pair of diagonals loaded with intention, and then pulled the glove to serve a perfect center, played from the outside in, which headed with the soul of a classic Oyarzabal battering ram between the two defenders.
The wall has been broken, Australia's seams skipped and Spain intelligently temporized to the end.
Prize for faith.
After insisting, insisting and insisting, striking without losing his temper or falling into the trap of despair, he obtained a victory that leaves him in an ideal situation, especially after the cold sweats that existed for a long time this Sunday.
From left-handed to left-handed, cut, serve and header, it remains to put the tie against Wednesday against Argentina in the last match of the group stage.
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