Spain started its career in the Games with a stumble, now forced to make amends since the draw against Egypt requires it to straighten up, there is no room for distractions. He had football and a good footing, but he lacked the seasoning, more imagination. Without definition again, he cannot lose the slightest bit in the second stake in these Games, on Sunday against Australia (Argentina completes the group and the first two qualify for the quarterfinals). He ran aground in a tough game that marred the debut in Sapporo, and the first change comes the warning: no matter how much payroll I present, half a team parading through the European Championship previously, more and better is needed. Gallons are not enough.
As happened in the preparatory against Japan, six days ago, Spain ran into a concrete wall that forced him to a constant exercise of patience, spinning and spinning in search of the gap. Aware of its limitations, Egypt took refuge in a line of five defenses and shook water incessantly, forcing duels and waiting for the counterattack, scratching at the slightest. His footballers taught the studs from the start and in one of the first attacks, when only three minutes had elapsed, Fotouh already found Mingueza’s right ankle. Despite the setback, the winger was able to continue, but a quarter of an hour later he suffered a muscular mishap that definitively removed him from the green. As a relief, De la Fuente opted for Vallejo’s more reserved profile.
The setback was premonitory, the first thorn in a duel that demanded both skill and neatness. A trap. And in those Ceballos raised his hand, as fierce as he was energizing. His long stride in the transitions set the pace until the rival took the mower back out. Pedri blurred and with Merino in oxygenation work, the game gravitated on the Andalusian during the first act, but when time ran out he took an ugly footfall from Taher that knocked him out of action. Second ko. Earlier, a shot from the captain had crashed into the post and his association with Asensio opened a path, but the goal did not come. First, the southpaw shot tamely into El Shenawy’s hands, and later drew a half-turn that ended with the stupid leg. Good intentions, blank bullets.
Down from Ceballos, the coach opted for Moncayola’s legs and lungs. The inclusion of the Navarrese freed Merino, who was heeled as inside and gained presence in the three-quarter zone without success. Dani Olmo did not intervene, Asensio lost incidence and Oyarzabal’s mobility as a false ram was sterile, so the rush began and the proposal was verticalized. Less ball at the foot, more ball in length. Spain renounced finesse and Egypt settled behind the back of defender Hegazy, its most notable footballer. De la Fuente shook the test tube with the entry of Bryan Gil and Carlos Soler, who provided good sparks in the final stretch, and also introduced Rafa Mir to reinforce the aerial record. The battering ram had it.
The offensive redesign shook up the game, while Unai Simon watched from afar without having to intervene once; Eric García and Pau Torres corrected a couple of Egyptian skirmishes, while Pedri got another good stomp, this time without consequences. Spain ran out of ammunition in the final stretch, but the lace was missing. Bryan Gil, a powder, saw the arrival from Miranda’s side and he served a delicate center that Mir nodded with power, but centered. Later, Soler released a right hand that the African goalkeeper repelled in two times, and almost on the horn, Vallejo went on an adventure when no one expected him and finished off a bitten center hanging from the left. There a stake died from which Spain left with a good shear.
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