Thursday, June 26, 2008

UEFA Euro 2008: Spain-Russia Recap

Spain are headed to the Euro Final for the first time in 24 years, and there's no doubt they have Russia's number. Three second half goals lead Spain to a 3-0 win, their second win over Russia in the tournament. In three games against Greece, Sweden and Holland, Russia went 3-0 and outscored their opponents 6-1, but they couldn't replicate that success against Spain, losing two goals by 7-1 margin.

While Spain lost the tournament's leading scorer, David Villa, to a muscle strain in the first half, their subs, lead by Cesc Fabregas, kept the pressure on Russia throughout the game. In the 50th minute, Andrés Iniesta's cross (or was it a shot?) was smacked home after a brilliantly timed run by Xavi. As they did in the opener, Spain continued to push, with Daniel Guiza and David Silva clinching the ticket to the Final with goals in the 73rd and 82nd minutes.

Villa will certainly be missed in Sunday's Final against Germany, but Spain have the depth to compensate. For Russia, it's a disappointing end to a tournament that exceeded expectations. They'll be happy not playing Spain again anytime soon.

1 comment:

Monica 08 said...

Do you think Fernando Torres is underperforming? I'd put Guiza in the starting lineup at this point and Torres as a substitute.