Alvaro Morata missed a golden chance while Isak came as close to getting the winner for Sweden at the other end as the Euro 2020 clash between Spain and Sweden ended in a 0-0 draw.
It was a night of missed chances for Spain, despite having the bulk of the ball possession. Spain played out a goalless draw against Sweden in their Group E Euro 2020 fixture at Seville. Luis Enrique’s side stitched together a whopping 918 passes with 85 percent ball possession in the match- a new Euro record. But, they failed to find the back of the net. Sweden on the other hand were the happier team. They sat back deep and defended very well to earn a point. Jane Andersson’s team could have even upset Spain if not for the woodwork and missed chance at the other end.
Spain started their tournament opener positively. They were keeping the ball, passing it around and even were able to penetrate through the tight Swedish defence. But were far from clinical in front of goal. Koke’s cross was headed towards goal by Dani Olmo. But the Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olsen made a quick save diving low to his left. Koke sliced an attempt wide from inside the penalty area. Few minutes later, the Atletico Madrid midfielder was again involved. But, he ballooned a running shot from inside the penalty box.
Alvaro Morata missed a golden chance in the 37th minute. Jordi Alba’s through ball fell to Morata after central defender Marcus Danielsson scuffed the clearance. But the former Chelsea man curled his shot wide from a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper. Five minutes before the interval, at the other end, Alexander Isak got past the defender Laporte to drill in a low shot only to be diverted by Marcos Llorente from the goal line onto his own post and to the hands of goalkeeper Unai Simon.
Just before the break, Olmo’s dipping shot from outside the penalty area was kept out by Olsen. After the restart, Spain lacked the same composure as in the first half. Meanwhile, on the hour mark Isak was again involved. This time, the Real Sociedad player dribbled past three Spanish defenders inside the penalty area. Isak delivered a fine pass to his strike partner Berg at the far post. But the 34-year-old forward failed to hit the target.
Spain desperately tried for a breakthrough in the last minutes of the game. Substitute Gerand Moreno’s close range header was kept out by Olsen’s right foot. Pedri found Alba with a chipped through ball and the Barcelona left-back motored his way through to deliver a cutback. But Pablo Sabaria’s weak attempt was comfortably saved by Olsen.
Luis Enrique’s decision to introduce Gerard Moreno, who scored 30 goals for Villarreal last season, with just 15 minutes left to play and start the game with Alvaro Morata would be questioned. Morata was whistled out of the pitch. Andersson was spot on with his team selection and with a bit of luck he was able to grind out a draw. His decision to start with both Isak and Berg almost paid off. Nevertheless, both the forwards worked tirelessly off the ball to support their teammates.
Spain will next play Poland on Sunday while Sweden face Slovakia on Friday.