Another failure for Spain in both areas
This time at least Álvaro Morata scored, and relatively early, which eased suspicions and relieved impatience. Luis Enrique kept him in the team, as he had announced, only this time accompanied by Gerard Moreno, who started on the right but coming inside to make way for Llorente's advances. He played well. And the grass was in better shape, which helped our control and passing game.
The goal came through Moreno, who played a great ball that Morata expertly tucked away with precision. The lineman raised his flag, before VAR overruled the decision to award the goal. Morata is accurate with quick shots, but much less so when he has to think.
All in all Spain looked good but the return was very little after having so much control of the game. And so, like what happened with Sweden, when Poland had the occasional attack, they were able to break. Lacking sharpness in one area and lacking solidity in the other, that has been Spain’s problem so far.
Poland efforts pay off in second half
Poland, facing elimination if they lost, gave more in the second half and their efforts paid off when Robert Lewandowski scored the header to tie the game. The Polish striker chewed Aymeric Laporte up and spat him out. His weakness stunned me. Question marks are hanging over the efforts made to nationalize the French-born center back with such haste while Villarreal’s Raul Albiol (and I won’t count Sergio Ramos here, who has been inactive for so long) was left at home.
Three minutes after Lewandowski’s goal, VAR awarded Spain a penalty which Moreno struck against the post. The rebound fell to Morata, who failed to put the ball into an empty goal -- the chance to take the game spectacularly wasted by the striking pair.
Then came a series of changes with which Luis Enrique began weakening the team (the first to be replaced was Moreno, the only real attacking danger) until it became a mediocrity. The final stretch of the game was ugly to watch, with the Poles attacking and the Spaniards looking aimless. Spain’s verve had initially spurred some excitement, but again, another draw.
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