The final day of international action saw dominant victories from Spain and Italy, as well as a hard-fought 1-1 draw from Brazil, though only Spain’s was obvious when looking at the scoreboard as they exploded for eight goals against lowly Liechtenstein — not that anyone expected otherwise. They took the lead inside of three minutes and were up by three after just fifteen. The only question from then on was just how many they would end up pouring on, and whether Cesar Azpilicueta would actually get a look-in as a reward for being himself.
The answer to the latter question was unfortunately ‘no’ — sorry, Dave — but at least Morata got to pad the stats with two goals and two assists. And only half of those four contributions were with his head! Inconceivable! In all seriousness, this was an incredibly easy game for Spain so hopefully neither Morata nor Pedro will show any adverse affects on Saturday from having had to play for the full 90 on Tuesday.
Spain’s previous opponents, Italy, got back on track after their embarrassing 3-0 defeat to La Furia Roja with a dominant 1-0 over Israel, whose magic goalkeeper almost stole the show but eventually succumbed to one of Italy’s roughly billion chances. Chelsea new kid Davide Zappacosta made a useful presence as an early second-half substitute, driving forward with authority, combining well with Antonio Candreva on the right flank and showing good speed as well as defensive awareness when needed.
In the late game, Brazil, who had already qualified for the World Cup some months ago, had another heavyweight, no holds barred throwdown against Colombia, where Willian's wonderstrike was cancelled out by a very nice header from Chelsea legend El Tigre Falcao. Willian rarely scores ordinary goals and few would accuse this effort of not conforming to that habit.
Spain are now assured of at least a playoff spot while Italy would have to mess up royally to miss out on at least as much en route to joining Big Willi Style at World Cup 2018.
And now, it's back to proper football!