Spain Doesn't Forgive
By Marco Fumagalli
An easy victory for Spain against the US in their first match of the 2013 U20 FIFA World Cup. The score could have been worst if only Spain had played 100% for the entire 90 minutes or US goalkeeper Cody Cropper hadn’t saved many shots of the Iberians.
4-3-3 for Spain and the only doubt is that coach Lopotegui only had a week training with these players as he was busy coaching and winning the UEFA European U21 Championship in Israel. Truth is the players play by heart the typical tiki-taka and the coach is theconductor of an orchestra well synchronized.
Spain plan was to play with three offensive players rotating during different phases of the game: a fake striker and two wide wings; 3 players in the middle with a defensive triangle and a 4 men defense.
Strange 4-3-3 for the US with the 3 forwards sitting with the defensive line of Spain and Luis Gil in the trequartista position who was not able to place himself between the lines and too often ended crushing with the forwards; Joya and Trapp tried to give the tempo in the middle while among the four defensive players, right back Yedlin was very offensive of pushing up the right side constantly.
The US started as expected more than 100% knowing that pressing Spain in their own half was the best way to contain them and face the skill gap. Unfortunately for them the first counter attack on minute 5, a long ball down the right side that everyone thought was going out, extremely fast Deulofeu got on it before it went out and delivered a perfect cross to Jese who just had to push it in. 1-0.
The US didn’t give up and continue their plan of trying to recuperate the ball possession as high as possible in order to be closer to Spanish goalkeeper Sotres who perhaps is the weakest link of the Iberian ironclad. The young Americans even had some good occasions but at this level you have to touch the net right away as you won’t be allowed many more chances.
The second and third goals of Spain came right before half time at minute 42 and 44 with Deulofeu and Jese. The score at half time was 3-0 for Spain.
The changes of Rodriguez and Cuevas for Hernandez and Garcia didn’t influence the game as the game proceeded the same way, with Spain waiting in their own half and opting for fast breaks while the US failed to turn into gold the few more occasions they had.
The fourth goal for Spain came after a beautiful long pass by Campana for Deulofeu who burned frustrated US goalkeeper Cropper. On minute 61 but was able to save the fifth one on a one situation on one short after.
There was glory for the US at minute 77 when Luis Gil netted a beautiful left shot from right outside the box. The final score was 4-1 for Spain.
Positive notes for the US were goalkeeper Cropper who avoided the score being higher thanks to a few amazing saves. Right back Yedlin was very dynamic and able to deliver a few crosses from the right side. Trapp recuperated many balls in the midfield and also tried to act as playmaker since Joya was not having a good day.
For Spain, everybody was waiting for Dulofeu and Jese: both delivered an outstanding match with 2 goals each. The key match player for Spain was however Atletico Madrid midfielder Oliver Torres: amazing playmaker with a very bright future in professional football ahead.
The US play against France next on Monday and in order to keep the hopes up to pass the round they must not lose. Spain will face Ghana and with a victory could already be qualified for the knockout stage.