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Asensio and Vallejo feature in Spain’s 5-2 extra time victory over the Ivory Coast, Olympics 2021

Spain progress to the semi-finals of the Olympics.

Spain v Cote d’Ivoire: Men’s Football Quarterfinal - Olympics: Day 8 Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images

Thanks to a 90th minute equalizer from Rafa Mir, Spain were able to take their match against the Ivory Coast to extra time and defeat the African nation by a score line of 5-2. Marco Asensio started the match on the right wing and played 68 minutes, while Jesus Vallejo entered the match at right back for an injured Oscar Mingueza in the 10th minute.

Marco Asensio tried to get more involved in the match after receiving criticism mid week from the Spanish media for, “staying stuck to the wing”. The former Mallorca man tucked in centrally when the ball was on the weakside and attempted to find pockets of space in the right half space. Only 35 total touches in the match, it was yet another quiet performance from Marco Asensio. He did manage to hit the woodwork in the second half before being subsitued in the 68th for new Tottenham man, Bryan Gil. There were no driving runs from Asensio, few daring passes, and he rarely ever took on his fullback 1 v 1. It seems like the Mallorcan plays within himself on the wing. All of his best performances for Real Madrid last season came from more central positions.

Jesus Vallejo was forced to play out of position at right back once again. He offered very little going forward and struggled 1 v 1 when isolated against Max Gradel. Too often Vallejo offered too much space between himself and the winger or fullback crossing the ball.

On Tuesday, Spain will face Kubo and Japan for a place in the Olympic final.