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“I knew that Jesús was going to place a perfect center,” said Álvaro Morata. And that’s what the Sevilla player did. “I just had to be alert for when that happened,” he insisted. And the Atlético striker also did that. From Navas to Morata, Spain found the key to breaking the wall of Scotland.

Spain

2

Unai Simón, Le Normand, Alex Balde (Fran Garcia, min. 45), Laporte, Dani Carvajal (Jesús Navas, min. 67), Gavi, Merino (O. Sancet, min. 67), Rodrigo, Morata (Joselu, min. . 84), Ferrán Torres and Oyarzabal (Bryan Zaragoza, min. 45)

0

Scotland

Angus Gunn, Scott McKenna, A. Robertson (Patterson, min. 43), Ryan Porteous, Aaron Hickey, Hendry, Ryan Christie (Armstrong, min. 79), McTominay, McGregor (Kenny McLean, min. 87), McGinn y Dykes (Che Adams, min. 78)

Goals 1-0 min. 73: Morata. 2-0 min. 86: O. Sancet.

Referee Serdar Gözübüyük

Yellow cards Dykes (min. 35), Merino (min. 48), Patterson (min. 50), Dani Carvajal (min. 58), Unai Simón (min. 60), Hendry (min. 83) and Laporte (min. 90)

De la Fuente was warned: the Scottish team had the fewest goals scored in group A. In fact, they had only conceded a single goal: it had been scored against them by Erling Haaland, and from a penalty. The defensive framework designed by Steve Clarke melted the City striker and company, silenced Spain at Hampden Park, but cracked against Morata and Navas at La Cartuja.

They knew in the Spanish coaching staff that Steve Clarke’s idea is non-negotiable. Starting with a solid defense, with five defenders supported by four other midfielders, Scotland became, at times, impenetrable. “It was difficult, a match that we had planned like this. Suffering against a rocky team, very well organized,” analyzed De la Fuente. “They are a difficult rival, very strong. It has cost us, but we have won,” Morata said. And Rodri finished: “It has been difficult, we know that he is a tough rival, because of how he works.”

De la Fuente understood that the key to breaking the blue defense was to open the field well. It happened, then, that the La Roja coach encountered a first problem: before forming the list, he already knew that he would not be able to count on Marco Asensio and Dani Olmo, Spain’s starting wingers in the rout against Georgia (7-1). . Nor with Nico Williams and Lamine Yamal, two daggers on the wings in Spain’s last match against Cyprus (6-0). The four forwards used in the last two games, in the infirmary. The headaches for De la Fuente did not end there: the loss of Yeremi Pino added to them. The coach was then left without five wingers. Balde was also added to the injured, who will return to Barcelona, ​​as will Nico Williams to Bilbao. The place of the Barça full-back will be occupied by Pedraza. “In the end, in Spain we have many very good players. “Those who are injured, those who have not been called up, and those who came,” defended Morata, captain of La Roja.

De la Fuente, then, had no choice but to call on an old acquaintance of his: Mikel Oyarzabal. “He is a player highly appreciated and valued by everyone. Especially for me,” the Spanish coach clarified in the preview. On the other side he opted for the good moment of Ferran Torres. In the bedroom he had another letter. It was the last one, the one that no one expected: Bryan Zaragoza, a footballer who had not played even a minute in the youth ranks of La Roja. The curious thing about Zaragoza is that he was not even on Luis De la Fuente’s pre-list. “It’s crazy, I’ve gone a few days without sleeping. I had to ask for something to sleep because what I’m experiencing is not normal,” confessed Zaragoza, who this Thursday even wore number 10.

Bryan Zaragoza, between the Scots Patterson and McTominay.
Bryan Zaragoza, between the Scots Patterson and McTominay.Alejandro Ruesga

And since La Roja could not find the seams against Scotland, De la Fuente decided to send the Granada winger to the field. It wasn’t the only change to the wings. Jesús Navas replaced Carvajal to double Ferran Torres on the right wing, who tended to join the center of the attack. “If we scored one in the first half, the game would have changed. It has been a very important victory. In the second half we took advantage of the good work of the first. We have attacked with more depth, with chances to finish,” said De la Fuente. And he added: “Against Norway we want to continue improving.”

To aspire to take first place, La Roja needed to beat the Scottish team by two goals or more before facing Norway on Sunday. And he got it. The key to Seville was precisely Jesús Navas. “Sometimes we are eating and I ask Jesus: ‘How are you doing?” Morata revealed, in the mixed zone of La Cartuja. “Is incredible. He trains even when others rest,” Morata concluded. The eternal youth of Navas, the key for Morata and relief for De la Fuente.

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By Jane Austen

Jane Austen is a seasoned journalist with a passion for uncovering stories that resonate with readers worldwide. With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to journalistic integrity, Ganesan has contributed to the media landscape for over a decade, covering a diverse range of topics including politics, technology, culture, and human interest stories.