Iñigo does not dispel doubts

We had to row in Prague, that’s what we said after the puncture against Portugal, we talked about the fact that in the Czech capital there was a river for it. But the truth is that the current of the Vltava was about to take us ahead. A goal by Iñigo Martínez in the 90′ ​​rescued a point for Spain, limping at this start of the Nations League and that sows doubts about the World Cup in Qatar. He played poorly and showed worrying defensive fragility. Only the character, summed up in that header from the Athletic center-back, and Gavi allow us to breathe. Those are the only two good news that Prague leaves us.

Rotation was predicted in La Roja and the RAE defines the verb rotate in its second meaning as follows: “Alternate (several people) successively in a job or a function”. As far as Spain is concerned, the function is none other than to reach the Final Four of the Nations League and, incidentally, grease the machinery with a view to the World Cup. The rotation was a fact, but it didn’t even take long to know if the eight changes compared to the game with Portugal were too many or too few. In the 3rd minute, the Spanish defense was laid bare, which in its impetus to press raised the line so much that it was shattered by the rival’s speed. Carvajal got stuck when throwing the offside and then there was no way to bail out water because the damage was already done: deep ball to Kuchta, pass to Pesek, who was the one who slipped through that yes but not from Carvajal, and shot on empty goal. Unai Simón could do nothing. So from that moment on, the game gave us an uncomfortable picture, since La Roja had not been at a disadvantage on the scoreboard since the Euro Cup final.

We don’t know what Jaroslav Silhavy would have in store to fight Spain, but what was clear is that after the early goal the Czech Republic (only three changes compared to the duel with Switzerland) tightened their lines with the sole purpose of reducing the spaces and drowning The Red. Gavi emerged as that player with whom to filter passes in front of the front of the Czech area, but the balls did not reach him. The azulgrana was desperate in the same way that De Tomás did. Inside it was impossible to play and outside, Carvajal and Marcos Alonso, double novelty on the sides, they hardly ventured to climb a few meters. So each Spanish attack was a rush hour station.

We had to wait until minute 33 to attend the first Spanish shot between the three sticks. It was a header from Eric Garcia that came meekly into the hands of former Sevilla player Vaclik. Silhavy did not require the best of his goalkeeper, nor of Sadilek and Soucek, a double pivot through whom the Central European game had to go. The only relief the match could bring us is if it came to half-time, but Gavi showed us once again that football belongs to the players. He is great despite being young and small, with that ability to find the exit door when everything is so dark that he is terrifying. There was no room in the Czech defence, but he found it; They closed the shot with the right and he opted for the left, with the subtle touch to break Vaclik’s stretch, who would be right to say in his good Spanish “how could they have done me so much damage with so little”. He would be right, because with Gavi’s goal the worst first half since Luis Enrique led the National Team closed. A goal that put the Sevillian even more squarely in the history books by becoming the youngest player to score with La Roja: 17 years and 304 days compared to 17 and 311 for his Barça teammate Ansu Fati.

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The break changed Spain in body and soul. In the first, because Ferran Torres relieved Sarabia; in the second, because the circulation of the ball was different. Luis Enrique brought on Busquets, Asensio and Morata to face a rival who was also making a move: Hlozek and Cerny replaced Lingr and Pesek. But before knowing which medicine would take effect, the Spanish or the Czech, the blow to La Roja’s chin came. Once again, a pass into the gap was enough to portray their defense. On this occasion, Eric Garcia was the victim, clumsy when it came to getting ahead and cutting the ball that Kuchta arrived so that he faced Unai alone. He beat it over the top with temperance and class. Luis Enrique’s anger was understandable, also that of his internationals, who tried it actively and passively. The wood repelled Ferran’s shot as before the Czech goal it had done with one from Asensio. It seemed that football was not on the side of La Roja this Sunday, but then came Asensio’s cross and Iñigo’s header that left Luis Enrique and the entire bench speechless. A good rehearsal for what we have left to shout in six months at the World Cup. But for now we can amend our irregular walk through this Nations League. Geneva, this Thursday, is a good place to do it.

Changes

Jankto (23′, Jaroslav Zeleny), milan havel (45′, Jankto), Ferran Torres (45′, Sarabia), adam hlozek (58′, Pesek), Vaclav Cerny (58′, Ondrej Lingr), Busquets (60′, Rodrigo), bruise (60′, From Thomas), Marco Asensio (60′, Dani Olmo), Mark Llorente (71′, Koke), Vaclav Jurecka (77′, Jan Kuchta)

goals

1-0, 3′: Pesek1-1, 47′: Gavi2-1, 65′: Jan Kuchta2-2, 89′: Inigo Martinez

cards

Rodrigo (57′, Yellow) Coufal (91′, Yellow

Classification

Group 2

PT

pjs

PG

PE

PP

1

4two110
two

4two110
3

twotwo0two0
4

0two00two

Group 2

PT

pjs

PG

PE

PP

1

4two110
two

4two110
3

twotwo0two0
4

0two00two

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