Spain Completes Perfect Euro 2024 Group Stage; Albania Exits

Spain secured a perfect group stage performance by defeating Albania 1-0 in an exciting Euro 2024 match.

In the thirteenth minute of the game, Barcelona’s Ferran Torres scored the game’s first goal, ensuring Spain’s victory and removing Albania from contention.

Spain Completes Perfect Euro 2024 Group Stage; Albania Exits
After Spain defeats Albania at Euro 2024, Ferran Torres celebrates with Dani Olmo. Photo Credit: Sky Sports

Spain’s reserve team defeated Albania 1-0 on Monday thanks to an early goal from Ferran Torres. The three-time winners concluded the Euro 2024 group stage undefeated, and the loss eliminated their opponents. In the thirteenth minute in Duesseldorf, Barcelona’s Torres, a winger, completed a brilliant move to pierce the atmosphere in a stadium largely full of boisterous Albanian supporters.

But despite making ten changes from the starting lineup that began their 1-0 victory over Italy four days prior, this game was far from easy for the Spanish team. Although Albania knew they would probably need to win in order to advance, Spain had already clinched first place in Group B. This made for an intense match at times, especially as Albania surged forward in the second half.

Albania, despite their best efforts, was eliminated from the competition after earning just a single point and placing last in a challenging phase. They have not performed as well as they did in their maiden European Championship run in 2016, when they did, however, win a game despite losing in the opening round.

It was always going to be a tall order for Albania, led by former Barcelona left-back Sylvinho, to defeat a Spain team that has likely been the most outstanding thus far in Germany. Spain has won all three of its group matches in a World Cup or European Championship for the first time since 2008.

Now that the final 16 matchup is set for Sunday in Cologne against an unidentified third-place finisher, coach Luis de la Fuente can focus entirely on that matchup. Half of the center After the match against Italy, Aymeric Laporte was the only player from Spain to remain in the starting lineup; everyone else was given a break, including important midfielder Rodri.

The mostly inexperienced players who entered were midfielder Martin Zubimendi, left-back Alejandro Grimaldo, defender Dani Vivian, and goalkeeper David Raya. Jesus Navas, a 38-year-old member of the Spanish squads that won the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, also made a start.

Alvaro Morata and Lamine Yamal both made appearances in the second half, and even Laporte was taken off at halftime and replaced by Robin Le Normand. Albania, which is ranked 66th in the world, was aware that defeating Spain would be difficult since the two teams’ eight previous matches ended in losses.

Spain had a chance in the 12th minute, but goalie Thomas Strakosha stopped Mikel Merino’s header. A minute later, Spain was ahead. After receiving a feed from Dani Olmo, who moved into the gap between the Albanian lines, Torres was able to grasp onto a well-timed ball that was fed in behind him.

The former Manchester City player’s initial attempt went in off the far post as he finished with precision and timed his move properly. Torres, who scored twice at the most recent Euros and twice at the 2022 World Cup, has developed a scoring habit at these competitions.

Also Read: Mattia Zaccagni’s Euro 2024: Italy Secures Knock-Out Spot with Last Gasp Goal against Croatia

Albania didn’t put Raya to the test until the very last minute of the half, when the Arsenal goalkeeper swerved to his right to block a strong attempt from Kristjan Asllani.

Shortly after the resumption, Joselu missed a cross from Grimaldo for Spain, and the Albanian supporters started yelling louder as they learned about what had happened in the previous game.

When Asllani’s free kick was met by replacement Armando Broja, who attempted to lob Raya, the goalkeeper made a save, and they came dangerously close to leveling the scores. Then, as Albania bowed out, Asllani curtailed his attempt and Raya denied Broja once again in stoppage time.

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