Luis Milla's team, who were favoured to contend for Gold coming into the competition, say goodbye to the Olympic Games after losing to Honduras
Spain: De Gea, Montoya, Botía, Domínguez, Jordi Alba, Javi Martínez (Tello, min 83), Koke (Ander, min 45), Muniaín, Mata, Isco (Rodrigo, min 66) and Adrián
Honduras: Mendoza, Crisanto, Figueroa, Velásquez, Peralta, Martínez, Bengtson (Lozano, min 81), Najar (Mejía, min 57), Espinoza (Peralta, min 72), Leveron and Garrido
Goals: 0-1, Bengtson (min 7)
Referee: Juan Soto (VEN)
Football, at times, can be unfair. This time, in Newcastle, football was unjust with Jordi Alba, Martín Montoya and Cristian Tello’s team - the latter two featured in the starting line-up. Spain’s Olympic football team said goodbye to the Olympics this evening after losing 0-1 to Honduras. Spain, after losing its debut game against Japan (0-1), found itself on the wrong side of lady luck as the Iberians hit the woodwork three times in the second half but were unable to score the equaliser.
Spain, once favoured to contend for the Gold Medal, now sit in third place with no hope of reaching the quarter finals. The last match for Spain will be against Morocco.
Honduras take the lead
Just like in the first match against Japan, Spain quickly found itself a goal behind. A play on Montoya’s wing ended with a cross into the Spanish area from Espinoza that Bengtson brilliantly knocked into the back of the net. It was the Honduran striker’s third goal of the tournament. The early South American goal played a number on Milla’s men, who fully knew that a defeat meant they would be bidding an early adieu to Great Britain.
It wasn’t until late in the first half that Spain started to threaten the Honduran goal - usually through plays started by Montoya and finished by Mata. The Chelsea player, however, wasn’t on target and the teams went to the break with the 0-1 on the scoreboard.
No luck for Spain
Forced to turn the game around, Milla quickly rubbished his pre-game plan of a double pivot in the midfield and instead opted to send in Ander (to Koke’s detriment). The second half, much more lively than in the first, treated the fans to two balls crashing into the Honduran and Spanish woodwork after only five minutes. The first was through Espinoza, who came dangerously close to the 0-2, and the second was Adrián’s work after a brilliant cross from Montoya.
The shots that did’t hit the post were saved by Mendoza. Muniaín and Rodrigo both left their mark on the woodwork, while Rodrigo, Adrián and Tello - who came on in the 83rd minute - all had clear chances to equalise but were denied by Mendoza. In addition, Spain’s penalty claims near the end of the match fell on deaf ears. Honduras, who dedicated large swaths of the match to wasting time after the 0-1, have made history.