Euro 2020: Spain, Poland in danger of early exit

 


Both Spain and Poland are in danger of failing to qualify for the knockout stage of the European Championships after drawing their second Group E game 1-1 on Saturday.

The result leaves the Spanish with two points from their first two matches and the Poles with just one.

Both sides need to win their last group games to avoid an early exit.

Spain coach Luis Enrique made only one change to the side that drew 0-0 with Sweden, bringing striker Gerard Moreno into the starting 11 and pairing him with the much-criticised Morata.

Meanwhile Poland played a 5-3-2 formation, with Robert Lewandowski the most advanced of their players.

The Polish began looking to take the game to Spain with Mateusz Klich firing just over from distance before Spain began to take control, with Morata’s attempted chip headed clear.

Although the Spanish were gaining terrain as the half progressed, the Poles were keeping their shape and Jordi Alba had to use his pace to stop Lewandowski’s surging run forward.

Spain took the lead with a moment of suspense in the 27th minute when Moreno crossed for Morata to slip the ball past Wojciech Szczesny.

The flag went up for offside, but after being revised by the VAR the goal was given as legal.

Moreno hit a free-kick just wide soon afterwards as Spain continued to dominate, but Poland nearly equalised in the 43rd minute.

This was when Karol Swiderski’s left foot effort bounced off the post to Lewandowski, whose powerful shot was well blocked by Unai Simon.

Lewandowski drew Poland level in the 53rd minute, out-jumping Aymeric Laporte to score with a towering header as the defender complained about a push.

But Spain were awarded a penalty kick barely a minute later when Jakob Moder was penalised for catching Moreno high and late with his studs.

Moreno picked himself up but sent his penalty kick against the post and the onrushing Morata was unable to direct the rebound into the open goal.

Ferran Torres replaced Dani Olmo and Pablo Sarabia came on for Moreno as Spain continued to look for a win, with Szczesny saving a bouncing effort from Morata.

The Spanish were controlling the ball, but as against Sweden on Monday, they were failing to impose enough rhythm in their play to really trouble the Polish defence.

Two defensive errors from the Poles led to a couple of goalmouth scrambles, with Rodri firing a powerful shot straight at Szczesny.

But unless Spain pick up their game in their opponents’ penalty area they risk crashing out.

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