Home Football Spain Completes Perfect Euro 2024 Group Stage, Albania Eliminated

Spain Completes Perfect Euro 2024 Group Stage, Albania Eliminated

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Early Lead Secures Spain’s Victory

An early goal from Ferran Torres secured Spain a 1-0 victory over Albania on Monday. This win allowed the three-time champions to finish the Euro 2024 group stage with a perfect record. Unfortunately, this defeat also meant that Albania was eliminated from the tournament.

A Dominant Start

In the 13th minute, Ferran Torres, playing for Barcelona, finished a well-executed move to put Spain ahead. The game took place in Duesseldorf, with the stadium filled predominantly with enthusiastic Albanian fans. Despite making 10 changes from the side that won against Italy four days earlier, Spain managed to maintain control.

Albania’s Efforts

Albania entered the match knowing they needed a win to progress. Despite their efforts, they couldn’t break through Spain’s defense and finished bottom of the group with only one point. This marked a step back from their performance in the 2016 European Championship, where they managed to win a game.

Spain’s Perfect Record

This is the first time since 2008 that Spain has won all three group games in either a World Cup or European Championship. Coach Luis de la Fuente can now focus on the upcoming last-16 match in Cologne on Sunday.

Rotated Squad Performance

Aymeric Laporte was the only player to retain his spot from the previous game against Italy. Key midfielder Rodri was suspended, and other players were given a rest. David Raya, Dani Vivian, Alejandro Grimaldo, and Martin Zubimendi, who are relatively untested at the international level, got their chance to shine. Veteran Jesus Navas, 38, also started the game, having been part of Spain’s World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012 winning squads.

Game Highlights

In the 12th minute, Spain first threatened when Mikel Merino’s header was saved by Albanian goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha. A minute later, Torres capitalized on a pass from Dani Olmo, scoring with a precise shot that hit the far post.

Torres has a knack for scoring in major tournaments, having netted twice in the last Euros and twice in the 2022 World Cup. Albania’s best chance in the first half came in the final minute when Kristjan Asllani’s powerful strike was saved by Raya.

Second Half Tension

Early in the second half, Joselu narrowly missed a cross from Grimaldo. The Albanian fans became more vocal as news from the other match filtered through, increasing the pressure on Spain. Substitute Armando Broja came close to equalizing twice, but Raya was up to the task, denying him both times.

Albania’s Euro 2024 campaign ended with a valiant effort but no rewards. They bow out with only one point from their group matches. Meanwhile, Spain marches on with a perfect record, looking strong as they head into the knockout stages.

Spain’s performance so far has been impressive, showing depth and resilience even with a heavily rotated squad. As they prepare for the last-16 match, fans can expect more exciting football from the three-time European champions.