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Nations League :Spain 2-0 Czech Republic

by Kolkata Today

Goals from Carlos Soler and Pablo Sarabia earned Luis Enrique’s Spain a 2-0 win against Czech Republic in Malaga which puts them top of Group A2.

Spain have scored in 18 successive matches and in 15 of their last 16 UEFA Nations League matches.

Spain are unbeaten in their last seven meetings with the Czech Republic, winning five times.

Spain showed their squad depth with a 2-0 defeat of the Czech Republic which maintained La Roja’s unbeaten record in Group A2 and moved them top of the section.

Spain had almost 75% possession when these sides drew on Matchday 2, and the hosts continued where they left off by dominating the early stages in Malaga, Álvaro Morata forcing Aleš Mandous to tip his cross out of Dani Olmo’s path.

The patience their opponents showed in that game initially served Czech Republic well again, readily punishing misplaced passes with slick attacking moves. Unai Simón pawed Václav Černý’s low strike away, then Jan Kuchta was denied by the goalkeeper.

Jaroslav Šilhavý looked on disbelieving that his side had not gone ahead, and the Czech coach’s frustration was compounded six minutes later. Carlos Soler produced a ruthless finish after Marco Asensio picked out the Valencia livewire’s late run inside the penalty area, then shot wide when the pair combined again as Spain threatened to overwhelm the visitors.

There were fewer chances during the second half, although Jakub Pešek lofted an inviting opportunity onto the roof of Unai Simón’s net and Gavi added energy and intent to Spain’s attacks in the closing stages.

The Barcelona teenager’s turn of pace was pivotal in Spain’s second, launching a sweeping move that culminated in Ferran Torres tailoring a cross to meet an expert run from Pablo Sarabia, who tapped in to put his side out of sight.

Victory earned Spain top spot in the section by a point, capitalising on Portugal’s defeat in Switzerland and moving La Roja four clear of Šilhavý’s third-placed side.

Jaroslav Šilhavý, Czech Republic coach: “All the matches have been great. We had a very good atmosphere and we played a very good match … we were active and dangerous. Unfortunately, we did not take our chances – but matches like this move us forward. We surprised Spain a bit with our [approach] and the fact that we played boldly.”

Czech Republic captain Tomas Soucek said , “I have to congratulate the whole team. We played better than [we did in the 1-1 draw] at home. We want to play a balanced game. When we play away from home, it’s more difficult for 90 minutes to press to the maximum and, at the same time, to keep balanced and take your chances. It’s not easy, especially away, and that’s what we have to improve – our productivity.”

Czech Republic coach Jaroslav Silhavy said ,”We played a better match than in Prague. We played higher, braver, but could not take one of our chances. After the second goal, it was really difficult.”

Spain midfielder Carlos Soler said ,”The two games in September are very important and will serve to switch us on and help us improve and polish things. We came here with the mentality of finishing these games as first in the group before going on vacation. We have performed well but there are always things to improve.”

Spain coach Luis Enrique said ,”I am happy for many players who played a great game today. We could have finished the game in the first half with a couple more chances besides the goal. It was a hard-fought match and we had to work for it because our opponents played at a high level. The atmosphere was wonderful and I want to thank the fans in Malaga.

The atmosphere was wonderful and I want to thank the fans in Malaga. From the beginning, the days before in the hotel, they were giving their support. It’s a pleasure to play like that, with red shirts and Spanish flags everywhere.

The Gavi that came on the field was a volcano erupting. It’s impossible there wasn’t a single spectator inside La Rosaleda in Malaga who didn’t enjoy what he brought today… he can go right and left, he takes risks, he is bold, he’s got goals, he’s got the final pass, he’s got defensive work.

They showed in the two games that they know how to defend: closing their half of the pitch but also pressing high. They’re physically good, well prepared, an attractive team and difficult to beat. We knew if we could get through the high press we’d have chances.”


Nations League Spain Czech Republic Football Sports Kolkata

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