‘Midfield control key to victory’
The key to Spain’s classy 3-0 semifinal win over Russia at Euro 2008 was controlling the midfield after Cesc Fabregas came on for injured striker David Villa, coach Luis Aragones said on Thursday.
“When both (Fernando) Torres and Villa were on we had a little problem in dominating the midfield,” said Aragones. “But when Cesc came on we got control. We seem to be playing better with one striker than two, because we have more control and are able to exert more pressure in midfield.”
“We started the game playing the sort of football that suited Russia, playing too many long balls up front,” Aragones said.
“But once we started controlling possession, then I think it was our most complete game of the tournament and to do that in a semi-final is very difficult.”
Aragones praised his team’s achievement in reaching their first final for 24 years.
“The team has played for some time with this winning mentality,” he said. “Cesc and others in the team have the experience of 28-year-olds even though they are only 21 or 22. This team could also have a sensational World Cup.”
Hiddink gracious in defeat
RUSSIA’S DUTCH coach Guus Hiddink admitted Spain had been the better side and deserved to be in the Euro 2008 final after his side’s 3-0 defeat here on Thursday.
After a more cautious first-half Spain shook off the shackles in the second period and tore Russia apart with their crisp passing game.
And Hiddink, whose side had stunned Holland in the quarterfinals due to their physical condition, said that his team simply could not keep chasing shadows.
“We lost against a very good Spain team,” said Hiddink, who saw his hopes of a major final dashed again having taken Holland and South Korea to the 1998 and 2002 World Cup semifinals, respectively.
“We were more or less on the same level for an hour but we couldn’t keep it up.
“That was also their plan to make us tired, very tired so we couldn’t mark as well and couldn’t play as well in the second half.”
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- Sergio Aguero had already been self-isolating after being identified as a close contact of someone infected.
- Dalot, 21, is at the heart of the defense of an AC Milan side which has been propelled to the top of the Italian league by the 39-year-old Ibrahimovic.
- The men’s and women’s camps will resume after the national meet, to be held on January 30 and 31.
- Often referred to as “giant-killer” for regularly beating top-5 players, Prannoy, the world No.28, was low confidence and without his winning touch when the pandemic shut down sporting activities.
- A brace by Judah Garcia and a goal apiece by Varney Kallon and Khaiminthang Lhungdim proved enough for Neroca FC to sink the Indian Arrows.
- The decision comes after the game's rule-making body IFAB last month gave the go-ahead for trials of additional "concussion subs".
- Strikes by Malsawmzuala and Lalrammawia were enough to hand Aizawl the three points.