Wednesday, August 4

Lewandowski saves Poland as Spain’s Morata misses redemption rebound | Euro 2020


At the final whistle, Spain was still trying to figure out how they hadn’t won again, why this keeps happening to them. Even Álvaro Morata’s goal that both he and they had needed was not enough. At the end of a tense and often wild night, she was desperate for everyone; It was also a draw, Robert Lewandowski scored the equalizer in the second half, Gerard Moreno missed a penalty and Wojciech Szczesny somehow made a late save that leaves this group wide open.

After such a long time of waiting, after the whistles and criticism, the moment finally came. Morata scored one; The problem was, he didn’t score two or three, and he could have. No one else did either, nerves were strained at this stage when they discovered there was no way out.

Moreno turned inward from the right, where he and Marcus Llorente had been at the heart of so many things Spain did. From the edge of the area, he doubled the ball with his left foot and Morata was there to pass Szczesny from inside the six-yard box. There was a roar, a release, but it was incomplete. On the touchline, the flag was raised. There was a familiar look from Morata and a familiar feeling as well. This, after all, is the man who had 12, yes, 12 goals discarded for offside last season.

I would not have the bad luck of having a 13th; Instead, I would savor this and celebrate twice. From the VAR room it was validated and started, running towards Luis Enrique, followed by his teammates. Morata hugged his coach and then continued to the substitutes and staff on the back bench, including Joaquín Valdés, the national team’s psychologist. They too had deserved it.

Poland had surprised Spain with a brilliant and dynamic start that included a great penalty cry in the second minute – the challenge had come from everyone’s Morata – and Mateusz Klich hit a twenty-five-yard shot that hit the top edge of the net afterwards. having flown. past Unai Simón. But Spain had taken control and at halftime there was a pattern that had been seen before, 77% of the ball was theirs. They may have also extended their lead, Moreno missed at the near post of Jordi Alba’s surrender after previously taking a barely deflected free kick.

That said, there was a vulnerability in them every time Poland broke and, in truth, Paulo Sousa may have felt that his team should have scored. From a corner of Spain, Morata approached, Lewandowski had run from deep alone only to be caught by Alba. He had also cut a cross from which Karol Swiderksi could not guide a volley past Simon. And then just before the break, I could have leveled this out. Swiderski hit the post from outside the area and the rebound came to Lewandowski. His first touch was a bit heavy but from five meters he managed a shot that Simon somehow reached out a hand to stop.

It was a good stop and a bad fault. It was also done well when ten minutes into the second half, Lewandowski nudged Aymeric Laporte, jumped up and headed a Kamil Jowiak cross into the net.

In two minutes, Spain had a chance to take the lead again, when Danielle Orsato headed to the VAR screen to see a replay of Jakub Morder stepping on Moreno’s foot inside the box. If it looked a little soft, in his opinion it also seemed like a sufficient penalty to score the point. Moreno’s shot, however, returned to the post, the rebound flying fast towards Morata, who could only shoot wide. Soon after, Morata threw a cross shot past the far post, but Spain was struggling to find clarity now.

Spaniard Gerard Moreno (second from left) watches his penalty return to the post.
Spaniard Gerard Moreno (second from left) watches his penalty return to the post. Photograph: Julio Munoz / Reuters

They also found themselves in third place. Poland, meanwhile, had something to hold on to: a first point that would take them to the final game against Sweden still with a chance to pass. And in those moments they were able to break the playing field, Spain could feel the threat although, after a somewhat chaotic time during which there was some advantage in the game, Luis Enrique’s team began to increase the pressure once again .

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Poland was a bit ragged now, Szczesny nearly dropped a single ball at Ferran Torres’ feet and before Morata attempted to turn and fire a shot within short range he sparked a fight that ended with a savage and relieved hack clear. It was desperate, for everyone, that Ferran Torres dropped the ball at Morata’s feet five meters away. Yet while swinging, Szczesny flew away, somehow saving the day.


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