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HomeEditorialSpain 4-1 Georgia: La Roja's dominant win sets up Euro quarterfinal blockbuster

Spain 4-1 Georgia: La Roja’s dominant win sets up Euro quarterfinal blockbuster

Spain produced a stunning comeback to defeat Georgia 4-1 in the round of 16 at the Euros, setting up a mouthwatering quarterfinal clash with Germany. After falling behind to an own-goal from Robin Le Normand in the 18th minute, Spain responded with goals from Rodri, Fabian Ruiz, Nico Williams, and substitute Dani Olmo.

The match took place on Sunday evening at the RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne.

In terms of team selection, Spain manager Luis de la Fuente opted to pair Robin Le Normand with Aymeric Laporte in central defense, with Unai Simon in goal. Dani Carvajal and Marc Cucurella operated as full-backs, while Rodri held the midfield alongside Pedri and Fabian Ruiz. Up front, Alvaro Morata was flanked by Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams.

On the other hand, Georgia coach Willy Sagnol deployed a five-man defensive line in front of goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili. Lasha Dvali, Guram Kashia, and Giorgi Gvelesiani formed the center-back trio, with Luka Lochoshvili and Otar Kakabadze as the full-backs. In midfield, Otar Kiteishvili, Giorgi Kochorashvili, and Giorgi Chakvetadze provided support, while Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Georges Mikautadze formed the attacking partnership.

As expected, Spain dominated possession from the start and launched continuous attacks. They spent a significant amount of time in and around the Georgia box, with Mamadarshvili making an impressive save to deny Carvajal’s close-range header in the 10th minute.

However, Georgia stunned Spain in the 18th minute by taking the lead with their first meaningful attempt on goal. A quick move down the left resulted in Le Normand scoring an own-goal under pressure from Kvaratskhelia.

Despite this setback, Spain remained undeterred and equalized just over five minutes before halftime, albeit in a controversial manner. Georgia’s Kiteishvili went down with an apparent hamstring injury on the edge of the box, prompting his teammates to expect Spain to kick the ball out. However, Spain saw this as an opportunity to launch an attack. Kiteishvili attempted to continue playing, but his limp was noticeable as Spain effortlessly played around him. Rodri eventually fired a precise shot from outside the box, with Morata moving out of the way at the last moment to avoid offside interference. The goal was confirmed after a brief VAR check, and Kiteishvili was replaced by Sandro Altunashvili.

Valencia goalkeeper Mamadarshvili continued to showcase his skills, denying Cucurella and Nico Williams in the first half. The teams headed into halftime with the score level at 1-1.

Early in the second half, Georgia came close to surprising Spain again as Kvaratskhelia attempted a long-range shot from 50 yards, narrowly missing the target.

With Dani Olmo replacing Pedri, Spain now had a No.10 playing behind Morata. They maintained their relentless attacking approach and took the lead just over 50 minutes into the game. Mamadarshvili saved Yamal’s free-kick, but Morata quickly regained possession and set up Fabian Ruiz for an easy tap-in.

The game could have been settled in the 63rd minute when Kochorashvili made a costly mistake, allowing Yamal to intercept the ball on the edge of Georgia’s box. However, the Barcelona winger narrowly missed the target with his shot.

Spain extended their lead to 3-1 in the 75th minute thanks to a brilliant combination between Pedri and Williams. Spain’s defenders halted a Georgian attack on the edge of their box, and Pedri delivered an exquisite long-range pass to Williams on the left wing. Williams then outmaneuvered his marker and fired a powerful shot under the crossbar, leaving Mamadarshvili helpless.

In the remaining minutes, Olmo and Yamal squandered a couple of good opportunities before Olmo displayed composure and skill to make it 4-1 from outside the box in the 83rd minute.

The victory secures Spain’s place in the quarterfinals, where they will face tournament hosts Germany in what promises to be a thrilling encounter between two title contenders.

Despite the comprehensive defeat, Georgia can take pride in reaching the knockout stage, especially after defeating Portugal along the way. Kvaratskhelia and Mamadarshvili once again demonstrated their quality at the highest level of the game.

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