(Jordi Blanco, correspondent in Barcelona) – Spain expects better times holding on to the scoreboard. Luis Enrique continues to renew the national team and the surprises are repeated to his team, which this Wednesday defeated (it could not be otherwise) Kosovo in Seville by a very discreet 3-1 that did not begin to take shape, however, until After half an hour of the game, during which the Spanish team had to exercise patience against a rival as inferior as it was spirited and who, even after the result, twisted the gesture.
Spain won with little brilliance and even less advantage than expected, relieved with two almost consecutive goals in the first half and embarrassed after an unthinkable mistake by Unai Simón, already in the second, with an untimely start and a turnover near the goal. Midfield Halimi responded to with a superb shot that slipped into the Hispanic goal. It was Kosovo’s first shot between clubs. In the 70th minute.
Gerard Moreno, a substitute shortly before an inoperative Morata, immediately returned calm by heading a corner service launched by Koke to the net and breathed the Spanish team, as aware of his lack of football skill as of the urgency that knocks on the door, suspecting that direct qualification for the Qatar World Cup will have to be played face to face against Sweden.
Luis Enrique returned to shake his line-up, with four changes compared to the eleven he presented in Georgia and entering the team to Marcos Llorente instead of Pedro Porro, Íñigo Martínez for Diego Llorente, Koke for Fabián and Dani Olmo instead of Bryan Gil, in search of a refreshment that, however, kept Sergio Busquets as the undisputed anchor, absent in the draw against Greece and who has since proven indispensable in the coach’s plans … That for the second consecutive game He left Sergio Ramos out, confirming his assistant Jesús Casas that it was a “technical decision” that was difficult to believe considering the rising Madrid central defender … who ended up increasing his numbers (180 caps) thanks to the six minutes that the coach gave him.
In the field, it was not easy for them to get the rhythm of the game in Spain, faced with a closed and robust rival, although technically limited and inferior in terms of collective organization, suspecting that the goal should come logically soon. A logic that, in any case, took more than half an hour to show itself on the scoreboard.
It was, until then, a discreet and almost devastating presentation of the Hispanic team, without finding depth, without hitting the short game, with Pedri multiplying but without finding Morata or Ferran Torres and without being able to provoke clear scoring chances. . Until Dani Olmo appeared.
Savior from disaster in Georgia, with a late goal that gave Spain victory, the Leipzig forward broke the Kosovar wall with a real goal shortly after half an hour. Jordi Alba, assistant of the two Hispanic goals in Georgia, saw him again heeled on the left wing of the area, he gave him the ball gently and Olmo released a magnificent thread from above, straining the ball through the squad of the surprised Samir Ujkani to reduce tensions .
What things are, after spending 33 minutes without finishing dangerously on goal, the second shot between the sticks, three minutes after 1-0, led to the second goal, scored by Ferran Torres with a magnificent cross shot when entering the area on the right wing, won on the run after Pedri’s long displacement.
From nerves to calm in the blink of an eye, Spain seemed to solve without brilliance but with stripes a game that threatened to become uncomfortable. Not because of the offensive danger from Kosovo, which had not even approached the Unai Simón area, but because of its problems in setting up and attacking.
Rounding off the victory, leading it to a win that never hurts thinking about possible qualifying tiebreakers (Sweden had beaten the Kosovars 0-3 on Saturday), it was understood as the Spanish goal in the second half, but if seen before the rest had aroused doubts, what was contemplated after that intermission only increased them.
It is true that Spain was able to win by a greater margin, rejected time and again by an uncompromising defense and ultimately by the successful Ujkani, turning the game into a tedium and with hardly anything to highlight beyond the increasingly evident stripes. of Pedri or the indisputable role of Jordi Alba in the left-handed side, which is his again, it seems, without discussion.
And in those came Unai’s blunder, in an exit without reason and without success, an even stranger driving attempt, the loss of the ball and the goal, a great goal, by Halimi in the first Kosovar shot on goal, when had reached minute 70.
Fortunately for Spain, the scare lasted barely four minutes, which Gerard Moreno needed to finish off a corner served by Koke that made up in a certain way.
a result that he was able to expand a couple of times in the final stretch … But he did not hide that the Hispanic team continues to search for each other and, worryingly, without being found.
Held back by Greece, almost miraculously beating Georgia and defeating Kosovo without any brilliance, Spain leads their World Cup qualifying group waiting to meet Sweden, already in September and after they meet at the European Championship.
By then it is expected, almost demanded, that Luis Enrique will give a better flavor to the national team.