Euro 2020: Lackluster Spain held to their second draw by Poland

Spain got the lead through Alvaro Morata in the first half before Robert Lewandowski leveled the score after the interval.

Poland football team in a file photo; Credit: Twitter/@EURO2020
By Sreejith C R | Jun 20, 2021 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Spain were held to a 1-1 draw by Poland at Seville on Saturday. It was Spain’s second consecutive draw in as many games in the Euro 2020. Now they desperately need to win their final group match to be sure of going through to the next round. Like always, Spain had the bulk share of possession and attempts on goal. However the opposition defence stood firm and hit them on the counter to share the points. Luis Enrique’s side got the lead through Alvaro Morata in the first half. But Poland’s talisman Robert Lewandowski got the equalizer after the break.

Spain have registered 29 shots but managed to score only once in the two Group E games so far. Luis Enrique started with two strikers this time around and deservingly got the lead in the 25th minute. Villarreal forward Gerard Moreno drifted from the right and drilled in a low pass through a number of Polish defenders. Morata slotted in to get his 20th international goal.

Although initially the linesman raised his flag for offside, VAR overturned the decision. Replays showed that the goal scorer had stayed behind the foot of last defender Bartosz Bereszynski when the ball was delivered.

Paulo Sousa’s team tried hard for the equalizer whenever they got the chance to go forward. Nine minutes from break, Karol Swiderski’s attempt at the near post from a Lewandoski cross went over the bar from close range. Few minutes before the interval, Swiderski’s shot from outside the box hit the post and the rebound fell to Lewandowaski. But the Bayern Munich striker’s shot was well saved by goalkeeper Unai Simon. Poland looked more threatening in front of goal despite having very little ball possession.

Spain’s Euro 2020 struggles go on

Nine minutes after restart, Lewandowski rose above his marker Aymeric Laporte to power a header in from Kamil Jozwiak’s cross. Immediately after the equalizer, Spain had the chance to get back the lead from the penalty spot. Referee Daniele Orsato awarded a penalty to Spain after VAR intervention for Jakub Moder’s foul on Moreno inside the penalty box. Meanwhile Moreno stepped up to take the spot kick, but his attempt hit the post and the rebound fell to Morata, who scuffed his shot wide.

The 2012 European Champions desperately tried hard for the winner.In the later stages of the game, left-back Jordi Alba’s cross was chested down by substitute Pablo Sarabia for Morata inside the box. But the former Chelsea man’s close range attempt was bravely denied by goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

Luis Enrique’s side would be utterly disappointed after their second draw. Unlike the Champion team of 2008-2012 this team clearly lacks a quality striker. Even the midfielders are not able to dictate the game when pressured as Poland did in the second half. The former Barcelona coach has reasons to worry and will have to find different ways to score goals rather than just depending solely on underperforming strikers.

Poland on the other hand were much more clinical upfront, converting one of the two shots on target to goal. That shouldn’t be surprising as they have the best striker in world football right now, who doesn’t need too many invitations to get on the score sheet.

Spain will next play Slovakia on Wednesday whereas Poland will take on Sweden. Going into the final round of group fixtures Spain and Poland are third and fourth in Group E with 2 and 1 point respectively. Sweden are placed on top with 4 points followed by Slovakia with 3. All four teams in the group are still very much in contention to qualify for the Euro 2020 knockout stage.