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Euro 2024: Spain repels Georgia's attack

Euro 2024: Spain repels Georgia's attack

With four goals in the 39th, 51st, 75th and 83rd minutes after the score was 0-1 thanks to Robin Le Normand's own goal (18th minute), the Spaniards confirmed that they can still be relied upon in this European Championship. Even if host Germany awaits a big quarter-final on Friday (6pm, live on ORF1) in Stuttgart.

Strong Spain showed its ability to overcome difficult times with a cohesive team performance after coach Luis de la Fuente's team conceded a goal for the first time in the tournament.

Spain – Georgia: 4:1 Olmo (83.)

Olmo ended the match in the 83rd minute.

For Georgia, who are making their European debut, it is certain that they have sold well, impressed the crowds and beaten the 'big man' of Portugal. But Spain's role as favourites cannot be shaken.

Clear distribution of roles

As leaders of the group with nine points and a goal difference of 5:0, the three-time European champion has not shown any weaknesses so far. However, Georgia was not underestimated. Since the team's great success in the last group match against Portugal, it was expected that the team participating for the first time in the European Championship would pull off an upset against Spain.

However, in direct comparison with Spain, Georgia has not had much to gain in the past. In seven duels, Spain has won six times, and Georgia once eight years ago (1-0). In the last meetings in the European Championship qualifiers under the current coaches, Spain won clearly with scores of 7:1 and 3:1.

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An own goal turns the match upside down

The initial phase clearly belonged to Spain, who managed to score five corner kicks in the first quarter of an hour. The ball was almost exclusively with the favourites: 88:12 per cent of possession was in favor of Spain. But as always, there's only one stat that matters: the number of goals.

Spain – Georgia: 0:1 Le Normand (18th place/own goal)

Surprisingly, Spain lagged behind.

Against the run of play Georgia took the lead in the 18th minute. Robin Le Normand's cross from Otar Kakabadse deflected past Unai Simon to make it 1-0. Understandably, the Georgians' celebrations were hard to contain. Spain were not shocked, but they still needed a little time to find their rhythm again.

Spain is back

But Pedri shot the ball over the bar (27). The Georgians kept the lead and the team led by former French international Willy Sagnol focused on counterattacks. The Spanish attacking efforts remained timid and fell in the middle of the dense Georgian defense.

Spain – Georgia: 1-1 Rodri (39).

Rodri shot from the edge of the penalty area and shot into the corner to equalize.

Giorgi Mamardashvili, who stands 1.97 metres tall, pushed away a good shot from Marc Cucurella towards the corner. In the 39th minute, it was time: Neco Williams passed from the left side into the middle, where Rodri was lurking on the edge of the penalty area and deliberately fired home to make it 1-1.

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Ruiz, Williams, Olmo close the case

Spain went into the dressing room feeling somewhat relieved. After the break, Luis de la Fuente's team increased their attacks and took a 2-1 lead in the 51st minute. Young star Lamine Yamal, who had just finished his school year during the week, played the ball to Fabian Ruiz, who nodded to take the lead. But Georgia did not give up and continued to try to keep up with the favourites.

Spain – Georgia: 3:1 Williams (75th).

Williams did not hesitate for long when he scored the goal to make it 3-1.

But he showed his class and the high individual quality of his players. Williams shot the ball under the crossbar after an individual effort to make the score 3-1 and thus decide the match (75th place). Freed from the burden of controlling the match, Spain continued, and Dani Olmo did not miss the opportunity to make it 4-1 (83) after an assist from Mikel Oyarzabal. Everything is now ready to face Germany on Friday – live on ORF1.

Sounds about the game

Rodry (Spain's top scorer): “We knew from the beginning that they might not have the big name, but they could cause us problems. We had chances at the beginning, but unfortunately they scored. But we are back, and we can be proud of that. They (Germany) are playing at home, But we have weapons and we have to do our best.”

Nico Williams (Spain's top scorer): “We are very happy to have reached the quarter-finals. We have shown step by step that we are a great team and if we continue at this level we can achieve great things. The goal that was scored was a mistake, but it was not intentional. In the end we were all satisfied. It will be a difficult match for sure (against Germany, note). It is difficult to break. But we have a great team and if we play at this level we can win.”

Willy Sagnol (Georgia coach): “We had good times and bad times, that’s the story of every national team. I think we can reflect on the last year that we spent peacefully, because the development of the team was so great. I’m very proud of what the players have achieved in the last few months. The journey is over now, but I’m sure the next one will be very exciting too.

Euro 2024, round of 16

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Spain – Georgia 4:1 (1:1)

Cologne, 42,233 spectators, SR Letixier (FRA)

Target sequence:
0:1 (18th place) Le Normand (own goal)
1:1 (39) Rhodri
2:1 (51.) Ruiz
3:1 (75) n. Williams
4:1 (83.) Olmo

Spain: Simón – Carvajal (81 / Navas), Le Normand, Laporte, Cucurella (66 / Grimaldo) – Pedri (52 / Olmo), Rodri, Ruiz (81 / Merino) – Yamal, Morata (66 / Oyarzabal), N. Williams

Georgia: Mamardashvili – Kakabadze, Gvelsiani, Kashia, Dvali, Luchushvili (63 / Tsitashvili) – Chakvetadze (63 / Davitashvili), Ketishvili (41 / Altunashvili), Kushurashvili (79 / Kvkveskiri) – Kvaratskhelia, Mikautadze (79 / Zivzivadze)

Yellow cards: Morata and Davitashvili respectively.