Sat | Sep 18, 2021

Misfiring Spain draw with Sweden

Published:Tuesday | June 15, 2021 | 12:10 AM
Spain’s Alvaro Morata (second left) and Sweden’s Pierre Bengtsson (fourth left) go for a header during the Euro 2020 Group E match at La Cartuja Stadium in Seville, Spain, yesterday.
Spain’s Alvaro Morata (second left) and Sweden’s Pierre Bengtsson (fourth left) go for a header during the Euro 2020 Group E match at La Cartuja Stadium in Seville, Spain, yesterday.

SEVILLE, Spain (AP):

The chances came and went but neither Spain nor Sweden managed to put any of them in the net.

Spain dominated possession and kept the pressure on the opposing area for most of the match but the Swedes held on for a 0-0 draw at the European Championship yesterday.

Sweden managed only a few chances at La Cartuja Stadium, but they were some of the most dangerous ones.

Alexander Isak, who plays for Spanish club Real Sociedad, had a shot from inside the area hit the post after deflecting off Spain defender Marcos Llorente in front of the goal line.

Early in the second half, Marcus Berg was inside the area with the ball coming his way, but he mishit his shot.

Álvaro Morata had Spain’s best chance just a few minutes before Isak but his shot missed wide with goalkeeper Robin Olsen the only opponent to beat.

HARD WORKER

“Everyone can make mistakes, we all make them,” Spain midfielder Pedri González said about Morata, who was booed by some of the Spanish fans. “He works hard for the team and that always shows on the field.”

Morata had already missed some chances and been jeered in Spain’s final warm-up match against Portugal, also a 0-0 draw.

Spain pressed until the end yesterday but kept misfiring. Olsen made a 90th-minute save off a header by substitute Gerard Moreno, and he had already stopped another close-range header by Dani Olmo in the first half.

“The way we earned that point today, the entire team, the way the guys ran in the heat, it wasn’t just me who earned this point,” Olsen said. “It was an incredible team effort. We didn’t play our best game. It’s not the most well-deserved point we’ve ever taken. But we battled. We showed that we wanted it.”

Spain ended with 75 per cent of possession and had 17 total attempts, with five on target. Sweden missed the target on their four attempts.

“We played against a rival that decided to defend and tried to create some danger with long balls, and it actually had the chance to win the match,” Spain coach Luis Enrique said. “It’s a disappointing draw for us.”

Spain had failed to score in only one of their last 14 group matches at European Championships.

Sweden hadn’t drawn any of their last 17 international matches, since a tie against Spain in qualifying for Euro 2020.

Yesterday’s Euro 2020 results

Group D

Scotland 0-2 Czechia

Group E

Poland 1-2 Slovakia

Spain 0-0 Sweden