This Olympic Spain is still a selection back and forth, still to be done because it barely enjoyed ten days of concentration in Benidorm and incompletely because six players came directly from the Eurocup (Unai Simón, Eric García, Pau Torres, Dani Olmo, Pedri and Oyarzabal). But although it lacks minutes and filming, it is a team of touch and trade, with clear ideas although the finish has yet to be sharpened. This was evidenced against Japan (1-1) by a more done and rolled team, not very ambitious with the ball but sensational in the transitions, in a friendly before debuting next Thursday the 22nd against Egypt in the first match of the group stage of the games. And thank goodness for the inexhaustible Pedri, who arrived in time to make the team play, to seal a draw that is a good warning for Spain, which will have to adapt to the heat and humidity before taking on Egypt (July 22), Australia (25 ) and Argentina (28) in the initial phase of the Olympic Games. Always, of course, with the desire to repeat the Barcelona 1992 laurel, or also a silver as in Sydney 2000.
With the concern of the dosage of the loads with the footballers who continue in an endless season, De la Fuente gave minutes and air to others who are supposed to be supporting actors, required to show that they can be an alternative in a pinch. That clarified Rafa Mir, perhaps less virguero than others but a solution for jammed duels and before motley defenses. Thus, before the ordered rear of Japan, which was moving as a block and waiting near the area, the robust forward asked for the ball. And, although they found him from grapes to pears, when he came into play gaps were generated, also occasions. Like that drag of Mir that served for Dani Olmo to put Ceballos in the race, who was left with the desire before the wise exit of the rival goalkeeper. Or that other shot by Asensio from the balcony of the area, a shot with a thread that did not catch the goal in time. Even that shot from Mir, who lowered the ball and loaded his leg in a flash but couldn’t with Kosei’s gloves either.
Japan had less interest in retaining the ball but what they occupied was to reach the rival area without ornaments, to catch the ball to attack. He expressed himself with the cons, always with Kubo as a springboard and dealer to organize any approach. Although it cost the Japanese team to peel Spain, since it was activated as soon as the ball was lost and it was generous in the effort and the retreat, a Kubo jog on the right side and a center of death was enough for the arrival of Doan, that hit him first and the very squad. Until then, little was known about Japan in the opposite area, perhaps a Hatate center that ended up above Unai Simón’s goal.
De la Fuente decided to pull the changes but the proposal was the same in some players of new-old cradle, with taste and love for the ball, governors of the duel through the ball until they were assembled in the rival field. And it was Ceballos who took the hat off with an inside pass for Oyarzabal, an unfortunate occasion because the defender meddled in the shot. Just as clear was that shot from Bryan Gil, required to do it with the right and well saved by the goalkeeper. Pedri also entered the field, chosen in the once of the Eurocup, a footballer who gives meaning to the ball and the game. And it was shown that Pedri is also an Olympian. From his boots came the dangerous attacks from Spain, poorly resolved first by Oyarzabal with a trigger in the small area; well celebrated by a shot from Puado that touched Soler’s feet before the post and the net. Enough to achieve the tie and to see that Spain has to put the pieces together before the premiere against Egypt.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.