Can the always talented and perpetually underachieving Spanish change their World Cup luck this time around? With a group that includes the likes of Saudia Arabia, Ukraine, and Tunisia, you’d hope so. If they can’t beat these guys, they’re doomed.
Spain’s opened the first 10 minutes controlling the run of play and trying hard. No great chances either way, really, but as the defenses tire a bit it will very interesting to see if somebody can capitalize. The Spanish defense is thus running a very successful offside trap, something Ukraine will need to solve.
GOAL! To Spain on a corner kick in the 12th minute. Defender was with him guy. He just got beaten badly. Reminds me of something the US would do. 1-0 to Spain.
Dangerous free kick to Spain. GOAL! Spain slams one in in the 17th minute! Nice shot by Villa off the free kick. Ah, replay shows it was deflected off the wall. No wonder the keeper could only wave at it as it went by. 2-0 to Spain.
Ukraine is trying, I’ll give them that, but so far (30 minutes in), they’ve been completely outclassed. Good chance in the 31th minute, but the shot is weak the keeper has no problem. Corner to Spain. Another.
Ukraine is clearly on par with Spain today. They could still score, of course, because a Spanish collapse at the World Cup is never out of the question, but Ukraine will have to change something for the second half if they want to have a chance. Thus far the Spanish trap has worked and will have to solved, but that comes with the caveat that the linesman has missed a call or two in Spain’s favor.
Spain misses a breakaway in the 43rd. And with no extra time, that’s the half. 2-0 Spain.
Ukraine comes out attacking after making a sub at half. Pays for it on a quick Spanish counter
What the heck!? Ukrainian red carded for pulling on the attacker’s shorts on the Spanish counter. Crappy call. Not as bad, maybe, as the Trinidad red, but certainly not great. I mean, what? FIFA mandates a red card whenever you try to de-pants a guy? Did I miss the memo? Penalty kick, the first of the Cup, to Spain. Buries it. 3-0 Spain. Ukraine will be lucky to score and, frankly, lucky if the score stays as low as 3-0. There’s a good 40 minutes yet to play.
Spain misses in the box at the 51 minute mark. Quick attack and trip nets a Ukrainian yellow.
Spain makes a sub at the 55 minute mark. Only downside for Spain thus far is that a better team will at some point later in the Cup break their offside trap like the cheap toy that it is. Without help from the linesmen’s bad calls, Spain’s trap would not have been nearly so effective.
Ukraine with their best chance of the day at the 72 minute mark. High over the bar. Disappointing. Ukraine with another chance at the 75th minute, but saved well.
Luis Garcia out at the 76th minute. 19 year old newbie in. Good idea. Get the kid some experience, protect your star.
Ukrainian player goals down and gets the magic spray treatment in the 79th minute.
WHAT A GOAL! Oh baby! In the 80th minute. Spain pulls off a beauty! What a goal! Nice, nice, nice! Best goal of the Cup so far, for my money. A perfect example of what a skilled attacking team can do against an inferior opponent playing with only 10 men, but hey, us soccer nuts will take it. 4-0 Spain.
Another Spanish attack shut down in the 84th minute. Hopefully no injury time, though there’s been some. I’m sure Ukraine wants to get off the field ASAP much like, oh, who could I be thinking of? USA v. Czech Republic? That’s right.
Spain very close again in the 86th. Spain shoots again, well saved, in the 88th. Come on, Ukraine, try not to give up another. Unless, of course, it’s another beauty like the fourth Spanish goal. In that case, go ahead.
Dang, two minutes extra. Well it will be over soon enough.
And that’s it. 4-0 to Spain.