A penalty scored by Bakasetas saw Spain drop two crucial points in 2022 World Cup qualifying after a 1-1 draw with Greece at Los Carmenes stadium in Granada. Alvaro Morata had put Spain ahead.
Luis Enrique’s men endured a frustrating night in their opening match of their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign.
It was a quiet start to the Group B encounter with Spain dominating possession, but creating very few meaningful chances. Dani Olmo struck the crossbar from outside the box on 32 minutes which left the Greek keeper a mere spectator, but Spain were not to be denied.
Seconds later, Koke’s pass forward found Morata in the area who controlled with his chest before volleying in. After the goal, Spain looked very comfortable for the rest of the half with Greece sticking with their game plan of just defending.
In the second period, Morata could have doubled Spain’s advantage in the 50th minute, but his effort from outside the box went wide of the goal. Then, five minutes later, Spain lost their lead.
Inigo Martinez slid in to clear the ball, but after doing so, he raised his leg and caught Masouras on the knee. Italian referee Marco Guida pointed to the spot despite Martinez’s protests and Anastasios Bakasetas tucked away the spot kick by hitting it high and down the middle.
🏁 ¡¡FINAL DEL PARTIDO EN GRANADA!!
— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) March 25, 2021
The goal spurred Spain into action, but despite plenty of pressing going forward, Vlachodimos in the Greece goal was largely untroubled. Alvaro Morata headed once at the goalie with 20 minutes left, but there was no real chance of note. Greece were content with the draw and Spain were unable to breach the well ordered Greek back line.
The match ended 1-1 and it was an incredibly disappointing performance by Luis Enrique’s men. Greece, on the other hand, got the result they wanted and their game plan worked to perfection.
Sweden’s 1-0 win over Georgia means Spain are two points behind the leaders already and, with only the group winners guaranteed a berth at the World Cup, Spain have to vastly improve for Sunday’s clash in Georgia if they do not want to have difficulty getting out of the group. Greece, meanwhile, are not in competitive action again until Tuesday when they face Georgia.
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