The Spanish team fulfilled the forecasts and is once again in an Olympic final in the men’s soccer tournament 21 years later. Luis de la Fuente’s team defeated Japan (1-0) in the semifinals in another very hard-working La Roja game and in which it was difficult for them to create scoring chances.
The individual quality was what saved Spain again. A play by Mikel Oyarzabal ended in Asensio’s goal in the second half of extra time. De la Fuente’s team has already secured the medal and Olympic glory will be played against the great favorite of the tournament, Brazil, next Saturday, August 7.
Luis de la Fuente moved the bench in the 60th minute, not counting Vallejo’s change at half-time. The team needed fresh air and Carlos Soler and Javi Puado gave more dynamism to the game and that light that it needed when preparing the plays, and with two players of refreshment, Spain regained control of the ball and the game.
In the 83rd minute, Asensio came in to replace a Pedri whose Olympic Games are taking too long and he brought more verticality to the team and ended up being the boost that Spain needed, scoring the only goal of the game. Moncayola and Miranda also entered extra time to give the team air balance.
The best of the match in Spain was Marco Asensio, from whom a lot was expected and so far he has led the team to the final. Again coming off the bench he was decisive, this time scoring the only goal of the game in the 115th minute and when it seemed that the penalty lottery would decide who would be the second runner-up. Until the Majorcan appeared and a quality technical detail was taken to finish off Oyarzabal’s assistance and beat the goalkeeper.
Asensio asks for a place in the final but it is seen that the Mallorcan is more decisive and contributes more to the team entering when he leaves in the second half than playing at the beginning.
Lack of depth
Since its participation in the Olympic Games began, the Spanish team has been dragging the same problems in the game. Spain is a very predictable team, the whole game is horizontal and with little rhythm. Sleeping the ball can come in handy at certain times but in the end this Spain is a team that is not surprising and it is difficult for them to create scoring chances.
Today we did not see any of the sides join the attack and open the field as in previous games. Not even in the last minutes with 0-0 on the scoreboard, Spain did not go out of its style of play nor did it hang up aerial balls in search of the striker.
Little withdrawal in defense
Spain was lucky that Japan attacked little, but each time it did so and any long pass to the back of the centrals was a dangerous action for the Japanese. As the minutes passed, neither the top players nor those in the center of the field came down, making the field very long, and allowing the Japanese players to fly in the counters.
The defenders were not helped by the numerical superiority of Japan and ended up backing down allowing the Japanese to get into the area. Spain was physically one point below Japan from the first half and the players were unable to withdraw.
Lack of forcefulness behind
As we say, physically Spain fell as the minutes passed and that in the end was reflected when making decisions, especially in defense with bad clearances and letting the Japanese players sneak in and finish off within the small area.