Sunday, June 13, 2004

Spain - Russia 1 - 0

I guessed 15 minutes into the game that the Spaniards would win with at least two goals. Russia were at that point on the defending side and had been so since the start. But 5 minutes later it all changed, Russia stood their ground better and managed to hold the ball more consistently within the team and by the last quarter of the first half the yet scoreless match were completely even.

The second half took of the same way as the first ended until the 60th minute when Spain made two substitutions. One of the players to come on were Juan Carlos Valer´┐Żn and he had only been on the pitch for about 10 seconds when he scored the only goal of the match. The rest of match went on evenly with scoring opportunities for both of the teams (Spain actually scored a second goal which were, correctly, called of by the referee). All in all, a much better game with better pace and better passing than the game between Portugal and Greece.

My Man of the Match: Russian defender Aleksei Smertin.