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International Break Update: Spain Underwhelming In Draw With Romania

Spain can't crack the code of Romania's defense.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

The back-to-back European Champions kicked off against a Romanian side that's bullet proof. Their current form is a 2-year unbeaten streak which includes going undefeated in the Euro 16 qualifiers. We'd have to go back 10 years to look at the last Spain-Romania match where Romania would edge out Spain 1-0. It should also be noted that Spain has never won in Romania.

Spain trotted out a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Iker Casillas would start over David De Gea between the posts. Spain would get off to a somewhat flat start. Slow was the tempo of the first half, it was tight and defensive in nature. The first scoring chance was in the 10th minute by Pique with a header tipped over the bar.  The next shot would come from Pedro a minute later that was on target, but blocked.

Spain would only manage 5 shots in the first half. Romania would have 12 shots at Casillas. Spain led in the possession department all game 69%/31%; while Romania owned shots on goal in the first and second halves with 19 and 9 respectively.

Spain seemed to come out with the idea to open up things in the second half and had pretty good chances to do so. Romania was all about making the field as small as possible which played into Spain's short passing style. Romania had a few chances to put themselves in the lead, but it never really materialized. We were even treated to an Álvaro Morata sighting late. Spain would get 4 shots on goal in the second half.

I don't think Spain nor Romania were at any point giving way to one another. It was a very defensive clash, despite the game opening up a bit in the 2nd half. The score would end up 0-0.  To put Romania's defense into perspective - they've only conceded 2 goals in the Euro qualifiers, and they continue their unbeaten run on the way to the Euro's in France.


Isco would be subbed in at the start of the second half for Nolito.

Here's Isco's touches.

Isco stayed on the left wing for most of the half. He had a couple good runs and sequences. One of them resulted in a corner (Spain looked sub-par on set pieces), the other a thrown in. When Morata hit the pitch Isco fell back a bit more and became more of a deep lying play maker and swapped wings with Pedro. He didn't play bad, but he really didn't stand out all that much either.


Nacho was brought in at the 52nd minute for Gerard Pique. Pique most of the match was playing a bit more up the pitch than Bartra, and at times looked out of place. With the introduction of Nacho, I think that Spain's defense was able to close up a bit. All I can really say about Nacho is he comes in and does yeoman's work. He works hard and plays his position well for Spain. He'd be a starter in any other club, but I'm glad he's a Real Madrid player.

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