A Spain renewed from head to toe came out badly in Glasgow, where they hardly said anything and conceded two goals in a bad way. Against a haphazard Red, with 22 participants in two games, a whole hodgepodge, Scotland prevailed with what they have: roll up their sleeves, clenched teeth and sweat that they sweat. De la Fuente’s team lacked everything, better closure in goals, crutch in the middle and something more than Joselu in the other ranch. A disappointing, brittle Spain and, for now, without an obvious script.
Angus Gunn, Tierney (Liam Cooper, min. 75), Ryan Porteous, Hanley, McGregor, Aaron Hickey (Patterson, min. 82), A. Robertson, McTominay, McGinn (Lewis Ferguson, min. 82), Ryan Christie (Kenny McLean, min. 74) y Dykes (Lawrence Shankland, min. 89)
Arrizabalaga, David García, Gayá, Íñigo Martínez, Pedro Porro (Dani Carvajal, min. 45), Rodrigo, Dani Ceballos (Gavi, min. 78), Merino (Aspas, min. 56), Yeremy Pino, Oyarzabal (Nico Williams, min. 45) and Joselu (Borja Iglesias, min. 66)
goals 1-0 min. 6: McTominay. 2-0 min. 51: McTominay.
Referee Sandro Schaerer
Yellow cards A. Robertson (27 minutes), Dykes (34 minutes), Dani Carvajal (67 minutes), Angus Gunn (76 minutes), Aspas (83 minutes) and McTominay (96 minutes)
A Red without signs of identity. A selection impossible to intuit with so much change (only the goalkeepers Raya and Sánchez and Zubimendi have not participated in the debut of De la Fuente). The only thing worth noting, the final salvo against the Norwegians. The new coach has a cut, a lot of cut ahead. But without time, because the next appointment is sent to June. In a group with two places for the Eurocup in Germany in 2024, it is difficult to predict a major fright, but after the bump in Qatar the other Spain does not take off, it does not engage, it does not have a frame.
Spirit reaches Scotland where boots cannot reach. She gets by as best she can with her reduced fishing ground. Against Spain, four of their starters – goalkeeper Gunn, sentinels Hanley and Porteous, and striker Dykes – were recruited from the lower-middle zone of England’s second tier. Whatever harvest you have, the combative spirit of your Tartan Army stay in the legendary Hampden Park. Facing Spain, they were all Scottish to the core.
La Roja was forced into a guerrilla party, little cosmetic. Steve Clarke’s squad goes for games with tonnage, without bending. Especially if you take advantage. It was granted by a Spain with little nerve in the early morning of the crash. The local team was stoking when Porro skidded, Robertson left him in the ditch and his appointment with McTominay made Hampden explode, always on fire.
With eight changes compared to the duel with Norway -there was only reel for Kepa, Merino and captain Rodri-, the visiting team woke up stranded. Hand to hand the Scots prevailed. Some awakening came when Ceballos took over. Spain had greater governance and soon warned that the airway could be exploited. Who would have said it in the old scrubs between Scots and Spaniards! But today De la Fuente has a crane striker and Joselu began to win rounds.
The first header fell into the arms of goalkeeper Gunn, the second hit the crossbar. Rodri, of course also through the air, lost another one due to a finger. Those of De la Fuente, rowdy Porro, unprecedented Pino and knotted Oyarzabal himself, did not find another vein. A Spain without a profile, without a clear score. A blink of the rest, Dykes closed without finesse a counter that left him with Kepa in sight.
In the intermission, with the fourth referee starting due to an injury to the first ringleader, the Spanish coach intervened. Carvajal took the lead from the troubled Porro —booed by the stands after a friction with Robertson— and Nico Williams left Oyarzabal in the dark room. There was no remedy. As if there was a spell on the visitor’s right lane, Tierney opened the gas and left Carvajal behind with astonishing ease. Where Porro did not amend, Carvajal did not correct it either. And, as in the first goal, despite the eloquent announcement, there was no one who blocked the way for McTominay, the Manchester United midfielder, who again came like a shot: 2-0.
Spain, against the ropes. With no more currency than hanging them in the Gunn area, a scholarship goalkeeper in his second international match. Aspas and Borja Iglesias came to his fence, relays of Merino and Joselu. He gave the same. Everything was confusing, it even gave the sensation of a certain improvisation. This time there was no effective second unit.
Scotland shielded itself, never loosened its jaw and the Red, without football or hook, hit it. And the next council with De la Fuente will already be, in June, the semifinal of the League of Nations. Many duties ahead for a selection to be made and a selector to graduate in the absolute and clear up any suspicion of transience as soon as possible.
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