Spain’s lackluster ranking

Morata secures the ticket to Qatar with a goal five minutes from the end the night that Sevilla chanted Gavi, the 17-year-old boy

The Qatar World Cup will start on November 21, 2022 and there will be Spain, participating in the great football event, historic in its 22nd edition because it will be held at the end of the year and not at the end of the conventional season. However, it will not be cold, but hot, on the deserted Arabian peninsula.

Spain could not fail, with everything in favor, in its Seville’s fetish headquarters, with the statistics in their favor (they have never lost at home in a World Cup qualifying phase) and in a match in which they were not forced to win thanks to the results of the penultimate day. It was just enough not to screw it up.

“This will not be a party until the referee whistles the end,” Luis Enrique had announced. He was wrong for five minutes. Those who were missing until 90 when Alvaro Morata, the maligned, insulted and threatened Morata in June, by failing goals one after another, picked up a rebound from the crossbar after a blow from Dani Olmo and beat Olsen with ingenuity and smoothness.

Avoiding risks and playing in the Swedish midfield were the premises of Luis Enrique. In the tacit repression of daring transmitted in the locker room, he highlighted Gavi’s insolence. That they do not come to him with restrictions at age 17, playing his fourth consecutive game with the national team (all starting, since his debut against Italy on October 6), and performing for the first time in Seville, before his countrymen, converted that child from Los Palacios and Villafranca, 30 kilometers from the capital, is a star.

The boy is strong

Gavi was extremely brash. He wanted to show off and he did it with his individual actions. But far from trying the particular shine with the ball at his feet, since he was very austere in the pass as he had heard, he fought and fought like a day laborer, stealing countless balls so that the newcomer to the group was in charge of sweeping the block.

Gavi looked like a child because of his smallness compared to his rivals, but they saw that he was solid and strong like them. Overcome the initial surprise, they checked the robustness of his legs and admired his courage to put his foot and his little body to snatch the ball from them. They shook him and rolled him on the ground and did not take it from him.

The public ended up chanting Gavi’s name when he was already Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the field, at 40, in the miraculous remedy that the Swedish coach sought at the bottom of the bench, after dismounting his forward and retiring Forsberg, the greatest danger of his with his arrivals from the second row.

Sweden decreed the end of the game more or less basted – more less than more, because it tied only a third of the passes that Spain gave – and the launch of balls into the area. The Nordic painting was stretched and left the spaces it had been closing so effectively. Olmo invented a shot from outside the area and Morata found himself alone in front of the Swedish goalkeeper.

De Tomás, the titular nine, was never seen in this guise. However, it brought the freshness of those who feel that they are passing a test and must squeeze every last tenth to pass. Since yesterday he entered the list of applicants to go to the Qatari desert.


Spain: Unai Simon (4); Azpilicueta (5), Laporte (6), Pau Torres (6), Alba (5); C. Soler (6), Busquets (7), Gavi (8); Sarabia (5), De Tomás (6), Olmo (6).

Technician: Luis Enrique Martínez (5).

Changes: Morata (7) for Sarabia (m. 59); Rodrigo (5) by De Tomás (d. 59); Merino (sc) by C. Soler (m. 73); Rodri (sc) by Gavi (m. 89); Brais (sc) by Olmo (m. 89).

Sweden: Olsen (7); Krafth (7), Lindelöf (7), Nilsson (6), Augustinsson (7); Claesson (6), Olsson (5), Ekdal (5), Forsberg (8); Kulusevski (5), Isaac (6).

Technician: Janne Andersson (5).

Cambios: Svanberg (5) by Forsberg (m. 64); Quaison (4) by Kulusevski (m. 64); Ibrahimovic (4) by Isaac (m. 73); M. Olsson (sc) by Krafth (m. 85).

Goals: 1-0 (m. 85), Morata collects a rebound from the crossbar after a shot from Olmo and coldly hits Olsen.

Referee: Felix Brych (4), German.

Cards: Krafth (m. 77).

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Stadium: La Cartuja (Seville).

Spectators: 51.844.

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