Spain celebrates its most bitter victory

Spain celebrates its most bitter victory

The team beats Georgia (3-1) to close first place and seeded status, but could lose Gavi for the EURO


The Spanish team closed its qualifying phase for next year’s European Championship in Germany this Sunday with a 3-1 victory at the José Zorrilla Stadium in Valladolid against Georgia, a lackluster victory that allows it to be seeded for the draw for the next December 2, but marked by Gavi’s possible serious knee injury.

The Nations League champion closed 2023 with a new victory, which was not accompanied by the effervescence of other nights, and overshadowed by the “significant injury” to the right knee that the young FC Barcelona midfielder suffered before halftime hour, which could say goodbye to the season and the EURO.

Spain could not repeat the performance of Tbilisi (1-7), but achieved the victory it needed to secure first place in Group A and be in the top seeding pot to experience its first tour in the continental event, closing with three points plus a qualifying phase with the only stain being the defeat in Glasgow last March.

Luis de la Fuente returned to a more recognizable team and changed his entire eleven, leaving only Gavi and Robin Le Normand as his starters against Cyprus last Friday. Precisely, the center back was in charge of achieving the most difficult thing in this type of match, opening the scoring, with a header after a lateral foul taken by Ferran Torres, his first goal with the ‘Red’.

Spain was able to open more gap shortly after with a double chance for Gavi, who ran into an agile Mamardashvili and after a great assist from Carvajal, and for Nico Williams who sent the subsequent rebound over the crossbar. The cold water came straight after with the 1-1 score by Kvaratskhelia, who sneaked between the centre-backs to receive a good pass from Chakvetadze and beat Unai Simón to end Spain’s unbeaten record at home in this qualifying phase.

The tie somewhat affected the game of De la Fuente’s team, who continued to dominate the match, but had a hard time creating chances against an opponent who relied almost everything on their speed on the counterattack and a Mamardashvili who stopped the team. few Spanish chances, starring in a free kick taken by Fabian Ruiz and, above all, a close-range shot by Morata after a good play and cross by Ferran Torres. In between, the worst news of the duel, the injury of Gavi, one of the best, who had to leave before half an hour with obvious signs of pain in his right knee after poor support.


Sancet was chosen to occupy the position of the young FC Barcelona footballer in the scheme of a team that accelerated its pace in the final stretch of the first 45 minutes, although without much success against a firm Georgia at the back. A cross shot by Nico Williams was the only thing that bothered the hosts before heading to the locker room.

De la Fuente did not move the team after the break. Spain seemed to come out with one more gear and soon locked up Willy Sagnol’s team again, entrusted once again to their goalkeeper, who ‘flew’ to avoid Rodri’s sharp header. However, the Valencian player could not beat Ferran Torres, who ‘chopped’ a good cross from Gayà and dedicated his goal to the injured Gavi.

The ‘Shark’ left his place shortly after to Lamine Yamal, who with his departure onto the field already avoided any possibility of being called up by Morocco and as a weapon to try to shake up a match that with the passing of the minutes was losing rhythm and enthusiasm on the part of from both sides.

Even so, the ruling came to avoid last-minute problems with Lochoshvili’s own goal after a cross from the young winger. Although there was still plenty of time to round off the final performance of the year, the Nations League champion failed to unsettle Mamardashvili too much.


–RESULT: SPAIN, 3 – GEORGIA, 1 (1-1, at halftime).


SPAIN: Unai Simón; Carvajal, Le Normand, Iñigo Martínez, Gayà; Rodri (Zubimendi, min.86), Fabián; Ferran Torres (Yamal, min.65), Gavi (Sancet, min.26), Nico Williams (Riquelme, min.86); and Morata.

GEORGIA: Mamardashvili; Kakabadze (Mamuchashvili, min.89), Lochoshvili, Kashia, Kvirkvelia, Azarov (Gocholeishvili, min.77); Kvekveskiri (Mekvabishvili, min.60), Kochorashvili; Chakvetadze (Altunashvili, min.89); Kvaratskhelia y Mikautadze (Davistashvili, min.60).


1-0, minute 4. Le Normand.

1-1, minute 10. Kvaratskhelia.

2-1, minute 55. Ferran Torres.

3-1, minute 72. Lochoshvili own goal.

–REFEREE: Ovidiu Hategan (RUM). He warned Rodri (56th) and Iñigo Martinez (94th) for Spain, and Kvaratskhelia (75th), Willy Sagnol (75th) and Kashia (83rd) for Georgia.

–STADIUM: José Zorrilla. 24,146 spectators.