Robert Lewandowski cancelled out Álvaro Morata’s opener to give Poland a draw against Spain, Gerard Moreno missing a penalty for the hosts in Seville.
Poland kept themselves in UEFA EURO 2020 contention with a battling draw against Spain, Robert Lewandowski cancelling out Álvaro Morata’s tap-in before Gerard Moreno missed a penalty for the home side in Seville.
Match in brief
Spain had been frustrated by Sweden on Matchday 1 and again struggled to establish any rhythm early on before taking the lead out of the blue in the 25th minute. Moreno cut inside from the right and unleashed a shot that was turned in by Morata, played just onside by Bartosz Bereszyński.
Moreno soon curled a free-kick narrowly wide as Spain sought to press home their advantage but Poland had already shown their threat and might have been back on terms before the break. Karol Świderski volleyed over before Lewandowski’s fierce close-range effort was kept out by Unai Simón.
Nine minutes into the second half, there was no escape for Spain. Kamil Jóźwiak curled in a pinpoint cross from the right and Lewandowski climbed between two defenders to power a header beyond Simón. Polish joy might have been short-lived after Jakub Moder was adjudged to have fouled Moreno inside the area three minutes later, but Moreno fired the resulting penalty against the right-hand post with Morata unable to steer the rebound on target.
Spain tried to push for a winner but Poland dug in and held out for the point that takes their Group E qualification hopes into Matchday 3.
Star of the Match: Jordi Alba (Spain)
“Did an excellent job offensively and defensively. His crosses always caused problems. An excellent effort.”
Ginés Meléndez, UEFA Technical Observer
Graham Hunter, Spain reporter
There’s a fragility about Spain. It’s in their passing, it’s in their nerves. They aren’t playing badly, but they remain vulnerable. I guess nerves are contagious, and often subconscious. The guys behind the front line know that there are goals in these strikers, but not right now. It’s costing more than it should to create clear-cut chances, to tuck away ‘lucky’ ones, and so La Roja continue to walk a tightrope. They can’t afford to look down. Only forward.
Piotr Koźmiński, Poland reporter
A much better performance from Poland than that against Slovakia. They were better in every aspect of their game. Lewandowski was also at a higher level and duly scored in his third EURO in a row. Poland can leave La Cartuja with their heads up and no one can complain this time. They gave their all on the pitch.
Robert Lewandowski, Poland captain: “Tonight we played a good game. Of course we made some mistakes, both in defence and in attack, but it looked much better than against Slovakia. Why? I think that in the first game we wanted to play pure football and create a lot. We focused on that and other parts did not work. We knew that against Spain we would be more focused on defence, but we did it quite well. It simply worked out.”
Kamil Glik, Poland defender: Was it one of the biggest challenges of my career? I’d say so. The task was difficult, but we didn’t lose hope. Even if some people in Poland did, we did not. This tournament has just started for us. There’s been a delay, but it’s finally started.”
Luis Enrique, Spain coach: “I have the greatest urge to watch and analyse the match. It hasn’t left us with the best feeling – perhaps we were the dominant team, but it wasn’t enough to force the victory. I liked how Poland played. They created clear chances. We probably tried too hard and overdid things instead of creating clear-cut opportunities. Missing the penalty was a pity because it was at an absolutely crucial moment.”
Álvaro Morata, Spain striker: “It doesn’t matter that I scored. I’m only interested in winning. But I had to thank Luis Enrique for the confidence he’s shown in me. Life’s like this – full of difficult moments. Now we just have to grit our teeth, keep going and get out of this group.”
Pau Torres, Spain defender: “Gerard [Moreno] didn’t miss a penalty all season but he’s a strong player with a strong mind. He’ll set this miss aside and nobody in Spain should be in any doubt that we’ll give everything to win the next game and qualify.”
- Spain are without a win in their last four games at a EURO final tournament (D2 L2).
- Spain have failed to win their first two EURO finals games for the first time since 1996.
- Morata has now scored four goals in EURO final tournaments for Spain, one behind Fernando Torres’s national record.
- Morata has netted four of Spain’s last five goals at the UEFA European Championship.
- Lewandowski is the first Poland player to score at three EUROs, following his goals in 2012 and 2016.
- Lewandowski has now scored 67 goals in 121 appearances for Poland.
- Aged 17 years and 246 days, Poland substitute Kacper Kozłowski is the youngest player to have appeared at a EURO.
Spain: Unai Simón; Marcos Llorente, Laporte, Pau Torres, Jordi Alba; Koke (Sarabia 68), Rodri, Pedri; Gerard Moreno (Fabián Ruiz 68), Morata (Oyarzabal 87), Olmo (Ferran Torres 61)
Poland: Szczęsny; Bereszyński, Glik, Bednarek (Dawidowicz 85); Jóźwiak, Moder (Linetty 85), Klich (Kozłowski 55), Puchacz; Świderski (Frankowski 68), Zieliński; Lewandowski