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Spain and Poland draw 1-1 to keep things interesting in Euro’s Group E


Spain v Poland - UEFA Euro 2020: Group E Photo by Marcelo Del Pozo - Pool/Getty Images

In typical Spanish fashion, the hosts at Seville dominated ball retention and shooting chances against a Polish national team who were more than keen on getting at least a point to keep themselves in the running for the Euro’s final stage. And so they did after falling behind from an Álvaro Morata goal, tying the match via superstar Robert Lewandowski and keeping the 1-1 scoreline until the end.

Although Spain were the favourites coming into this encounter against Poland, the visitors would be the ones coming closest to starting the scoring today. A shot from 20 yard by midfielder Mateusz Klich almost made it in Simón’s goal, though its final hit was the crossbar instead.

That was the wake up call for Spain, who began to work upfront for a couple of chances. One of which was an apparent Gerard Moreno attempt at goal turned assist to former Chelsea striker Álvaro Morata, who was just a few centimetres onside to finish the chance — as shown by VAR after his strike.

Although Spain dominated possession and attacking chances, Poland was still dangerous. Karol Skiderski had two great chances, one inside the six-yard box parried by Simón and a second one near the end of the first half which hit the post and set Robert Lewandowski for a rebound that was again defended by Spain’s goalkeeper. On the other side, La Furia Roja almost doubled their lead via Moreno — first with a great low free kick, and then with a near clear-cut chance that hit the side net instead.

Pressing a team as powerful as Spain can be a dangerous affair. But with Poland needing at least a point to keep their final stage hopes up, they did it anyway — and to great effect. A great cross from Kamil Jozwiak is delivered to Lewandowski in the six-yard box, and we all know how lethal he is in those situation. He makes no mistake beating his marker with sheer strength, and then beating Simón for Poland’s equalizer.

Spain would immediately try to answer with Moreno, and the Villarreal striker was brought down in the box by a late foul from midfielder Jakub Moder. Moreno himself stepped up to take the spot kick... and miss it, with Morata then sending the ball off play in the rebound.

The penalty did not diminish Spain’s drive to keep dominating ball retention, although they did not create as many chances as one would hope from all the possession they had over Poland. There were some good chances from the hosts, and Morata could have scored the winning goal 80 minutes into the match after getting the ball in a great scoring zone had him not taken so long to just bury it.

Spain’s “huff and puff” at the end of the match was far from enough to create good enough chances to turn it in their favour. The 1-1 draw leaves the group wide open for surprises, with Sweden leading it with four points, Slovakia in second with three, Spain with two and Poland with a single point. The last-placed team will need to beat the leaders to get a spot in the final stage; whereas Spain will also need to beat Slovakia to reach playoffs.

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