In a cool night in Murcia, the Spanish National Team faced off against the Colombian National Team. Álvaro Morata was Spain’s hero as he dramatically evoked Sergio Ramos’ spirit in the dying minutes of the match and headed a lovely goal into the back of the net. Spain was utilizing this match as a bit of preparation for their European qualification match versus Macedonia this Sunday, however, this is probably a much tougher match.
Spain started the match brightly and in the tenth minute they had the first opportunity of the match, but Ospina proved to be alert and saved twice to deny the goal. However, Spain’s persistence eventually led to a good combination play where Aspas assisted David Silva. Ospina probably will feel he could have done better, but Spain had had the best opportunities, and the run of play was with them.
However, after the 33rd minute, Colombia started to wake up and started forming attacks of their own. James Rodriguez juked Iniesta in his own box and fired a shot that went just wide. Colombia’s pressure was felt as Spain was forced to defend and stay in their own half.
A moment of confusion and miscommunication between Pepe Reina, Pique, and Azpilicueta led to Erwin Cardona taking full advantage and chipping it over and into the back of the net. 1-1. Colombia equalize and are rewarded for their efforts as they headed into halftime all tied up.
After the break, Spain decided to change quite a few of the personnel, allowing our gem Marco Asensio a full half. However, it was Colombia who took the lead from a James Rodriguez delivery into the box which Falcao converted with an unstoppable header. Falcao has now become his country’s all time top goalscorer, with 26 strikes in his 65 appearances.
After going down, Lopetegui knew he needed a change. A goal down, and with our very own Álvaro Morata on the bench, the substitution seemed pretty straightforward. At the 56th minute mark, Morata came into the match to start running and make Colombia’s defense work. His work rate allmost worked seven minutes later when former Real and current Sociedad player Asier Illaramendi picked Morata out with a cross that was just headed out. Frustration started to show on Morata’s face. James was substituted off in the 80th minute, seemingly too tired to continue.
Colombia’s Giovanni Moreno, currently playing in China, decided to cheekily cross into the box with a Rabona, because, why not? However, Pepe Reina collected it without any problems. Time was winding down and the win seemed all but confirmed for Colombia, but the never give up attitude that is so deeply intertwined in the DNA of our players shone through. Saul sprung on the left side of the pitch and swung a cross to Morata who flicked it for a spectacular goal in the dying minutes of the match. A perfect goal which is now his ninth international goal with the Spain Senior Team.
Spain will now face Macedonia this Sunday in a World Cup Qualifying match whereas Colombia will face off in a friendly against Cameroon on Tuesday.