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Morata late show gives Spain winning start

Published: Thursday 6 June 2013, 19.55CET
Spain 1-0 Russia
Substitute Álvaro Morata headed the only goal eight minutes from time to ensure the Under-21 title holders began with a victory in Group B.
by Simon Hart
from Teddy Stadium

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Match statistics

SpainRussia

Goals scored1
 
0
Attempts on target4
 
0
Attempts off target13
 
1
Corners8
 
0
Fouls committed8
 
19
Yellow cards0
3
Red Cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 21/03/2013 14:41 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
Published: Thursday 6 June 2013, 19.55CET

Morata late show gives Spain winning start

Spain 1-0 Russia
Substitute Álvaro Morata headed the only goal eight minutes from time to ensure the Under-21 title holders began with a victory in Group B.

Spain made a winning start to the defence of their UEFA European Under-21 Championship crown but they left it late in Group B, debutant Álvaro Morata coming off the bench to break Russia's resistance with eight minutes remaining in Jerusalem.

It looked as if Julen Lopetegui's title holders would be frustrated by a combination of their own awry finishing and Russia's stubborn defending but eventually their superiority told when Thiago Alcántara swept in a free-kick from the right flank and Morata's back-header sent the ball flashing past the fingertips of Nikolai Zabolotni.

Real Madrid CF forward Morata, a 63rd-minute replacement for Iker Muniain, might have grabbed a late second too, when hitting the post with a shot on the stretch, but his solitary goal was enough.

Unbeaten in qualifying, Spain have come here as the team to beat and it was no surprise when they took the early initiative on a balmy evening inside the Teddy Stadium, Martín Montoya rifling a deflected shot just wide of the far post and Marc Batra heading over from the ensuing corner.

Yet if Spain controlled possession in now customary fashion, Russia's containment strategy limited the holders' subsequent openings in the first half. Indeed Zabolotni’s two saves of note came from long-range strikes, the goalkeeper stopping Thiago's free-kick and Asier Illarramendi's 25-metre drive. In between Rodrigo Tello got clear on the left only to screw his shot into the side netting.

At the other end, Russia coach Nikolai Pisarev had selected the Real Madrid-based Denis Cheryshev to lead his attack in the absence of both Fedor Smolov and Alan Dzagoev, who will join the squad after the senior side's FIFA World Cup qualifier against Portugal tomorrow. Cheryshev's touch helped tee up Pavel Yakolev for a dipping volley that flew narrowly wide and provided the only scare Spain faced all game.

By the time Cheryshev made way for Maksim Kanunnikov moments before the hour, Pisarev had already sent on Maksim Grigoryev for Shota Bibilov at half-time, but the red tide kept rolling towards the Russia goal. Rodrigo put two headers wide early in the second half, both times after crosses by Isco, who produced a wonderful piece of trickery to deceive Nikita Chicherin by the byline. More opportunities came Spain's way as Morata nodded Montoya's centre over and Tello sliced wide, and eventually their persistence paid off.

Last updated: 10/06/13 1.00CET

http://www.uefa.com/under21/season=2013/matches/round=2000188/match=2010947/postmatch/report/index.html#spain+leave+late

Lineups

Spain

Spain

Russia

Russia

1
De GeaDavid de Gea (GK)
1
ZabolotniNikolai Zabolotni (GK)
2
MontoyaMartín Montoya
2
TsallagovIbragim Tsallagov
Substitution80
3
IllarramendiAsier Illarramendi
3
SchennikovGeorgi Schennikov
Yellow Card23
5
BartraMarc Bartra
4
ChicherinNikita Chicherin
6
Iñigo MartínezIñigo Martínez
5
BurlakTaras Burlak (C)
9
RodrigoRodrigo
Substitution78
7
PetrovSergei Petrov
10
Thiago AlcántaraThiago Alcántara (C)
8
ShatovOleg Shatov
Yellow Card86
11
TelloCristian Tello
Substitution85
14
YakovlevPavel Yakovlev
18
MorenoAlberto Moreno
15
Belyaev Maksim Belyaev
19
MuniainIker Muniain
Substitution63
17
CheryshevDenis Cheryshev
Substitution58
22
IscoIsco
20
BibilovShota Bibilov
Substitution46

Substitutes

23
JoelJoel (GK)
16
FiltsovAleksandr Filtsov (GK)
13
MariñoDiego Mariño (GK)
12
KritsukStanislav Kritsuk (GK)
4
NachoNacho
6
KirillovYuri Kirillov
Substitution80
7
CanalesSergio Canales
Substitution78
9
PanyukovAndrei Panyukov
8
KokeKoke
Substitution85
11
KanunnikovMaksim Kanunnikov
Substitution58
12
MorataÁlvaro Morata
Substitution63
Goal82
13
BryzgalovSergei Bryzgalov
14
CamachoIgnacio Camacho
18
EmelyanovRoman Emelyanov
15
Marc MuniesaMarc Muniesa
19
GrigoryevMaksim Grigoryev
Substitution46
Yellow Card73
16
ÁlvaroÁlvaro
21
ZotovAleksandr Zotov
17
SarabiaPablo Sarabia
20
CarvajalDaniel Carvajal
21
Álvaro VázquezÁlvaro Vázquez

Coach

Julen Lopetegui (ESP) Nikolai Pisarev (RUS)

Referee

Matej Jug (SVN)

Assistant referees

Alan Mulvanny (SCO), Johann Gudmundsson (ISL)

Fourth official

Nissan Davidy (ISR)

Additional assistant referees

Ilias Spathas (GRE), Halis Özkahya (TUR)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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