Unexpected result in Gijón this evening as Spain were held by Finland, the last team in group. After the one-all draw, Vicente del Bosque’s men are second in the group, two points adrift of France. This Tuesday will see the two teams face off against each other at the Parc des Princes for the coveted top spot of the group.
A brick wall at El Molinón
With Valdés in goal, Piqué pairing up with Sergio Ramos in the middle of the defence, Alba out wide, Busquets as holding midfielder, Iniesta on the wing, Villa up top and Cesc playing the false 9 role, Spain lined up with seven FC Barcelona players from the start. Ten of Finland’s eleven players practically spent the entirety of the match in their own area, as the home team took control of the rest of the park. Despite their dominance, Spain were unable to break through the Finish defence in the first half.
The eighth Barça player, Pedro, to play in the match was subbed in at the break for Cazorla. Sergio Ramos gave the home team the lead with a header on 49 minutes. 15 minutes later, Villa came off for Negredo. Spain’s intensity dropped off in the final minutes of the match and, with Cesc off the pitch, Finland found the equaliser thanks to a strike from Pukka (min. 78). It was possibly the only clear chance for the visiting team.