REPORT: Spain's side B looks good too

Kiev (Ukraine) 12 Oct 2015
Luis Arnáiz
Carmelo Rubio
Excellent match from the Spanish side with a 0-1 win, thanks to a goal by Mario Gaspar and a stellar performance from David de Gea

The young team proved to have the right skills and was well directed by Thiago. The Spanish side could have distanced itself with a penalty shot from Cesc, who reached his 100 match mark, and another annulled goal by San José. 

In the same stage where Spain conquered its last EURO, Vicente del Bosque's men played one of its best matches to day. The same stadium where Spain conquered its second EURO in a row (2008 and 2012), now saw Spain win once again, the same way it had against Italy, this time against Ukraine, qualifying for the following continental tournament. 

Having qualified for France 2016, Del Bosque opted for alternatives in the starting line up, with a different strategy. The sole player to start was Cesc Fàbregas, who as captain, directed the squad as one of the most veteran internationals. His ten teammates played an unforgettable match in a memorable stadium, that serves as test for the Spanish side that now awaits to play in France. Many of whom, may make it as part of the final team. Juan Mata, who previously spoke at the press conference, how important it was for him to play at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, where he wore the captain armband. 

Another close chance came with a penalty shot by Cesc Fàbregas that the Ukrainian keeper saved, keeping Spain from distancing itself on the scoreboard. 

Newcomers had the chance of contributing to Spain's win. In fact, it was thanks to one of the debutants that Spain earns these final three points. Just over twenty minutes into the match (22'), Mario Gaspar headered an amazing cross from recently recovered Bayern-player, Thiago. A brand new team wore Spain's kit this evening with Xabi Etxeita in defense, hold a position usually covered by Piqué; Nolito created danger on the sidelines. Despite having only played together during training sessions, Spain's future seems promising for Vicente del Bosque and his men. 

Undoubtedly 'Man of the Match' goes for David de Gea who, in numerous occasions displayed his skills, his reflexes, his agility. Stopping difficult shots from Kravets, Rotan and Konoplyanka, the Man. Utd keeper is a sure better for Vicente del Bosque, who can comfortably rely on younger players in the future.

Spain, with two matches in four days, two different line-ups, two stadiums still holds true to its style and confident that the same results can be achieved as well as being in high spirits for the future, given that many of tonight's players used to belong to the U21 squad in 2013. The team understood that their Ukrainian opponent would go for the victory, and thus they did what they know best, touch, touch, hold the ball, get to the target and score. Isco and Thiago holding the midifield in place and pushing forward whenever possible. 

Mikel San José, one of the younger players of the squad, would have his glory 55 minutes into the second half only to have his excellent goal annulled by the Serbian ref, who had previously booked Thiago, himself and that would later book De Gea on claims of wasting time. Ukraine tightened its grip, in an attempt to suffocate the Spanish side who, resilient and full of youthful energy made it past its fouls and shots on target. 

With this additional positive result Spain earns three more points on the road to France, the EURO 2016 awaits as well as England and Belgium, that Vicente del Bosque's team will play in friendlies next month. 



Pyatov, Kucher, Shevchuk, Fedetskiy, Rakitskiy, Stepanenko, Konoplyanka, Rotan (87' Zinchenko), Garmashf (58' Rybalka), Yarmolenk and Kravets (87' Seleznyov)
De Gea, Gaspar, Nacho, Etxeita, Azpilicueta; San José, Cesc (64' Mata), Isco, Thiago, Nolito (74' Jordi Alba) and Alcácer (82' Busquets)
0-1 Mario Gaspar, header (min.22)
Milorad Mažić (SER) booked Kucher, Stepanenko, Fedetskiy, Thiago, San José and De Gea 
Match day 10 in Group C of the France EURO Qualifier Stage
NSC Olimpisky Stadium in Kiev
Cesc Fàbregas reaches 100 international caps