Spain vs. Czech Republic
Spain is set to host the Czech Republic at La Rosaleda on Sunday, June 12, at 2:45 PM ET for Matchday 4 of the Nations League. Spain sits in 2nd spot with 5 points and the Czech Republic in 3rd with 4 points. This match will be their second meet of the campaign.
After 3 games played, the Czech Republic have lost one game, drawn one, and won one, whereas Spain have won one and drawn two games. Only a point separates the two sides as they look to beat one another to the second position on the table.
The top two teams will qualify for the next round after the group stage, giving this game massive importance to fight for the second spot. On paper, Spain looks like the stronger team, but the Czech Republic is no stranger to beating top teams.
A look at their Nations League campaign
Both teams have been on a good run this campaign but haven’t been able to capitalize in all their previous games. The new-look Spain do not seem to have the dominance their predecessors once had, while the Czech Republic still remains a tough nut to crack for the big teams.
Spain got their campaign started with a mouthwatering match against Portugal. It was an interesting game as they left with a point each. Alvaro Morata got the lead for Spain in the 25th minute with a simple tap-in assisted by Pablo Sarabia.
Spain seemed to have more of the ball in the first half, creating a couple of chances they could not capitalize on. The second half saw more of a fightback from Portugal as they also kept creating chance after chance and were finally able to score in the 82nd minute, thanks to Ricardo Horta’s goal. Both teams’ goals were similar, finishing the game with a point each.
The second match was against the Czech Republic, which they are about to face for the second time on Sunday. It was a crazy game as the Czechs shocked soccer fans by scoring in the 4th minute of the first half, thanks to Jakub Pesek’s goal. Gavi equalized for Spain in the dying minutes of extra time in the first half.
The Czechs scored first again in the 66th minute of the second half through their star performer Jan Kuchta. It looked like the Czechs would go home with the win until Inigo Martinez scored for Spain in the 90th minute, finishing the game with one point apiece.
Spain’s third game was a much more controlled display as they won by a goal to nil against the Swiss. They scored in the 13th minute of the first half through Pablo Sarabia, who has been a mainstay in Luis Enrique’s team this campaign.
The game did not produce much as Enrique’s team controlled the game’s flow, putting on a professional show.
The Czech Republic have always been giant killers in international soccer tournaments, and they recently turned the heads of soccer fans when they almost beat Spain during their first meet.
Their first game against Switzerland ended with a win. It was a tough match-up for both teams as they were equally strong with similar characteristics.
Jan Kuchta opened the scoring with a goal in the 11th minute of the first half, and the Swiss could equalize only in the 44th minute of the second half. The game ended with a win for the Czech Republic through an own goal by Switzerland’s Djibril Sow in the 58th minute.
Czech Republic’s second game was the talk of the group as they outplayed Spain throughout the 90 minutes and extra time. Spain created half chances throughout the game, and although they dominated, they couldn’t capitalize. The Czechs started the game and scored in the 4th minute of the first half after they split open Spain’s defense line.
Spain equalized through Gavi’s placed shot in the extra time of the first half. The second half was more eventful as Jan Kuchta finally got a goal as a reward for all his hard work. He was put through on goal and gracefully chipped the ball over Spain’s goalkeeper.
It looked like there was no way back for Spain till the dying minutes of the game when Inigo Martinez headed a ball from a cross into the net. It looked like the keeper caught the ball, but it had crossed the goal line. The referee looked at his watch and blew the final whistle after what was a thrilling game for all soccer fans.
The Czech Republic faced defeat for the first time in this campaign after a dominant performance by their opponents, Portugal. Joao Cancelo and Goncalo Guedes were on the scoresheet as Portugal had an easy game. It was difficult for the Czechs to match Portugal’s players, all superstars playing in the world’s best soccer clubs.
Spain vs. Czech Republic – Preview
As they face each other for the second time this campaign, Spain and the Czech Republic will look to finish the game with a win.
Luis Enrique’s Spanish team looks like they are in a transitional period after all the years of dominating world football. It is a new-look Spanish team that prefers to play more from the wings rather than control through the middle of the park, unlike previous Spanish teams.
The Czech Republic will also have learned much from their previous meet, where they looked like they could’ve gone home with a win. Their star player this campaign, Jan Kuchta, looks like the real deal and will definitely be a thorn for Spain’s defenders. The likes of Soucek and Coufal could also lead the Czechs to an impressive win.
No matter the outcome, the winner will have a chance to grab the second spot in the group. Whichever team wins this match will have more control over their destiny.
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