Coach Rainer Adrion rued his team's bad start in the 3-2 loss to the Netherlands – some of which he put down to nerves – but said they at least showed their "true face" in the second period when substitute Kevin Volland played a pivotal role along with skipper Lewis Holtby, scorer of the second goal. That ultimately futile comeback was a source of encouragement for Adrion, who added: "We want to play like we did in the second half over the next two games."
Prior to kick-off, there was a nice touch from the Germany squad who warmed up in blue T-shirts bearing the flags of both Germany and Israel and the message "We feel at home" written in Hebrew.
Cor Pot hailed the spirit and resilience of his Dutch side as they recovered from the blow of conceding a two-goal lead to beat Germany 3-2 in Petah Tikva. According to Pot the Netherlands won "the German way" and he was delighted by the unity visible among the group on Thursday night. "We win with all 23 and the staff. You can see everyone was happy for each other with each goal, especially the last one, and that's why everyone was hugging and kissing each other and it was nice to see."
Defender Ivan Knyazev was not included in the squad for the Spain game and the Russian Football Union (RFU) confirmed afterwards that he will miss the rest of the tournament with a knee injury. Pisarev will at least be able to welcome two attacking reinforcements on Saturday in Alan Dzagoev and Fedor Smolov, the two players who will be joining the Russia squad after the senior international against Portugal on Friday night.
"We will definitely be pleased to add the two additional players," said Pisarev, who surprised some by starting Thursday's fixture with Denis Cheryshev, more usually a left-sided attacker, as his centre-forward. As for Spain's display, captain Taras Burlak was so impressed as to suggest the holders would be good enough to win the Russian league.
The holders kicked off with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Russia courtesy of a goal from debutant Álvaro Morata. Their performance drew praise from coach Julen Lopetegui who was pleased with their persistence in the face of Russia's determined defending. "The most important thing was our mentality, we kept trying to score," said Lopetegui.
There was one piece of bad news for the Spain coach, though, in an injury that Sergio Canales suffered to his left hamstring during a 12-minute substitution appearance at the end of the match. "We're worried about Sergio Canales," he said. "We'll have to look at his situation." Canales was due to undergo tests on Friday to determine the severity of the problem.
The England players who did not feature in the loss to Italy trained on Thursday morning, while those who played had a low-key warm-down session. Most of the squad were given the afternoon off to spend time with their families or go to the beach but Nathaniel Chalobah took time out to speak about the need to learn quickly from mistakes made against Italy. "The most important thing is to get our heads on the next game because they come thick and fast," he said. "You can't dwell on one game."
There was also good news on the injury front. Wilfred Zaha, who was an unused substitute against Italy owing to an ankle complaint, trained and Stuart Pearce confirmed that he is in contention for Saturday's game against Norway.
The Israel squad had the morning off but trained in the evening after coach Guy Luzon talked them through the video of their opening draw with ten-man Norway. There was some bad news on the injury front, though, with Marwan Kabha ruled out of the game against Italy and doubtful too for the final group fixture against England with the abdominal injury sustained in the first half on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, forward Munas Dabbur believes the hosts must relax if they are to show what they are capable of. "Now that we have the first game out of the way and we are not nervous any more, I believe we will produce what Guy Luzon is expecting of us."
Devis Mangia had a drink with staff and players after the victory over England to celebrate his 39th birthday on Thursday. It was not all good news for the coach, though, as Luca Marrone suffered a hamstring strain in Wednesday's game which, as the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) confirmed on Thursday, rules him out of the tournament.
The Juventus midfielder will have further tests to determine the length of his recovery but in the meantime has decided to stay on with the group until the end of their campaign. There was only an evening session for the squad – those players who played yesterday had a light work-out, the rest of the squad did a full programme.
Rest and recuperation was the order of the day for Norway on Thursday. Only those players involved for 45 minutes or less in the 2-2 draw against Israel were asked to train in the morning. The rest underwent a gentle gym session before the squad joined together to go surfing. Jo Inge Berget went off against Israel with a head wound and subsequently had to have stitches in hospital, but he was able to join the rest of the team-mates on Tel Aviv's Golden Beach on Thursday where they held an unusual press briefing.
Midfielder Stefan Johansen told UEFA.com that he and his team-mates do not fear England, their opponents on Saturday. "Lots of them play in the Premier League and many of us still play in Norway, but every player should get the same respect," he said.
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