Best result with the least effort for Spain against Ghana
By Marco Fumagalli
An undertone Spain managed to take 3 points against a hard-working but inconclusive Ghana in the second match of Group A for both teams at the 2013 FIFA U20 World Cup.
Usual 4-3-3 for Spain with Saul and Oliver in front of the defense, Suso as offensive midfielder, Jese as fake 9, Deulofeu and Suarez on the wings. Same tactic as the previous game, waiting for the opponent in the middle zone while not in ball possession, tiki-taka with fast break through once the ball is in their feet.
4-2-3-1 for Ghana with Baba on the left back position behind Acheampong, Duncan in front of the defense with Salifu, Boakye only striker. The Africans tried to close down the Iberians by pressing them high with a lot of intensity which was possibly one of the causes why Spain didn’t have a good day overall. Boakye was often left too alone in the offense to fight against 2 or 3 Spanish defenders.
The crowd was all for Ghana and despite the stadium being not even 10% full, the amazing acoustic of Ali Sami Yen Arena boosted the cheers from the supporters.
The goal for Spain came quick, after 13 minutes; Suarez ran down the left side with the ball and a bad defensive coverage by Ghana’s defense forced 3 players towards the Spanish wing who was able to assist Jese left by himself in the middle of the box who just had to push the ball in.
Everyone thought that the game was over already and that Spain would increase the score quickly but Ghana was able to constantly break their passing game but could not break through the Iberian defensive wall. Ghana had the best chances in the first half with a few shots that couldn’t find the net and two counter attacks not well managed.
The best play of the first half despite the goal was a beautiful combed shot Del Piero style by Oliver Torres which ended just inches from the post on the left side of Ghana’s goalkeeper.
The second half did not differ from the first one, with Ghana dangerous and missing open chances, the most important being on minute 57 when Boakye received the ball in the box, managed to turn and shoot right above the bar.
The game ended 1-0 for Spain. It’s not easy to play every 3 days especially mentally, perhaps that’s why Spain did not impress tonight.
Not a good night for Deulofeu who missed two chances 1vs1 with Ghana’s goalkeeper. Oliver Torres was once again everywhere for the Spanish, the real playmaker of this team.
Boakye did what he could but Ghana should have placed someone close to him with whom he could have tried to break Spain’s defense. Decent match for left back Baba and midfielder Duncan.
With this victory Spain is already qualified for the next round and in order to keep the first seeding in this group a tie against France will be enough; Ghana has 0 points and must not only win against the US but also hope they end up as one of the top 4 third placed teams while the US with a victory would have 4 points and their chances to pass the round would be definitely good.