Gold medalist Joselu prevents extension – Orange meets Italy in consolation final
Spain meets Croatia in Nations League final after late win over Italy
Spain will play the Nations League final on Sunday in Rotterdam against Orange challenger Croatia. A late goal by gold medalist Joselu gave Italy a 2-1 thrashing.
As a result, the Dutch team will play the consolation final against the Italians, who went down in Enschede.
The top affair in the east of our country ignited with lightning speed Thursday night. Already after three minutes the ball was in the Italian’s net, after a fatal build-up from behind.
Read the match report via the link below:
What is ‘goldcrest’ in Spanish?
Joselu is a gallo d’oro, a free Spanish translation of “goldcrest. The 33-year-old Stuttgart-born Spaniard from Espanyol poked in the winning goal four minutes after he stepped in.
This was only his third international and he scored his third goal tonight.
It’s over in Enschede. Italy couldn’t get anything done in those final minutes.
Spain wins, 2-1, and deservedly so. It was sparkling for a while, in the beginning, but then it all collapsed ugly. The Italians made very little impression, the Spaniards achieved a very decent level.
Read the entire match report via the link below:
SPA-ITA | 88′ GOAL SPAIN
The Groslch Veste shakes up! It’s 2-1 for Spain. Invader Joselu tucks in the second Spanish goal.
Surely the attack was suddenly very quick again from Spain, a smooth combination ending with a cleared cross right at the feet of Rodri. His shot hits all sorts of Italian legs and ends at the feet of 33-year-old Joselu. And no, he was not offside, because Acerbi did not sprint forward fast enough.
SPA-ITA | 76′ Are the Italians coming?
Marco Verratti filled in for Italy. Yes, who miraculously wasn’t in the starting lineup. Will Italy, led by the little PSG playmaker, start a real final offensive? Or will it continue to lurk on a counter? Meanwhile, the lefty Chiesa has also stepped in.
SPA-ITA | 65′ Madre mia, that one could have gone in
Pfoe, out of nowhere a gigantic chance for Italy. Frattesi dives in front of his man in the Spanish sixteen and lashes out – may we say quite blindly -. Blisteringly hard on the hands of goalkeeper Simon, who fortunately for the Spaniards is still sharp.
Almost the 2-1 for Italy.
SPA-ITA | 62′ Spanish storm lies
After a stormy start to the second half, the inspired Spaniards are now taking it very easy. And that hasn’t made the duel any more enjoyable. With the eternal tapping around, you doze off.
Spain must be careful not to lull itself to sleep as well.
SPA-ITA | 52′ Goal hangs in the air
Spain wants to finish quickly, that much is clear. Again a huge chance, this time after Donnarumma again fails to clear the ball properly. A grab. Bouncing the ball falls at the feet of Rodri, who pulls over, and shoots just over.
SPA-ITA | 48′ How to get it wide
Is Italy even awake? Once again the ball is in again very soon after the kickoff. Mikel Merino sees his header just stopped by the big hands of Donnarumma. It is close. In the rebound, Morata finally gets the ball wide, how is it possible? Should we come and do it ourselves otherwise. Okay, granted, it wasn’t very easy, with his back to the goal.
SPA-ITA | 46′ Here we go again!
Enschede kicked off for the second half.
Two substitutions on the Italian side:
- Spinazzola and Bonucci out; Dimarco and Darmian in.
One change for the Spaniards:
- Asensio in; Rodrigo out.
Zaniolo, ‘poster boy’ from Italy’s most talked-about soccer family
After the European title two years ago, Italy is reinventing itself a bit. With a number of young talents, such as 23-year-old Nicolò Zaniolo. The “poster boy” from Massa, seen as a potential Golden Ball winner a year ago according to famed coach Fabio Capello, has been felled many times by terrible knee injuries, but now he is fit.
But as Capello fancies him a great future, he is so easily compared by others to the crackpot Mario Balotelli. For Zaniolo, because of his colorful personality, is an almost inexhaustible source of sensation for the tabloid press.
While Italians in the middle of corona time are still walking neatly according to the rules with mouth caps, Zaniolo is photographed in a packed entertainment venue, with a cigarette in the corner of his mouth. The bravado he exudes is said to have come from his father. Or his mother? She has become a famous photo model on Instagram and has also gathered a huge following as a hip soccer mom.
Francesca Costa also uses her popular channels to severely condemn her son’s escapades. Because, according to her, there was every need for it: Zaniolo exchanged his pregnant girlfriend Sara Scaperrotta two years ago for Romanian model Madalina Ghenea, who is 12 years older than the soccer player.
SPA-ITA | 27′ Spain dangerous and Italy lurking
The inspiration with which the Spaniards play is pleasant to see. Early pressure, short, tight passes, searching for the second man, all ingredients of the Spanish game are there. It produces chances, such as a narrowly missed header by Gavi, or Morata’s shot from about 18 meters, which Donnarumma has difficulty with.
In ball loss, the Spaniards are worryingly vulnerable, which is also typical of Spain, while the Italians lurk for a moment to strike.
SPA-ITA | Kisses from Donnarumma
The Spanish and Italian stars are waiting in the tunnel. Big names, mind you, in Enschede. Champions League winner Rordi, Barca star Gavi and Morata with Spain. And what about the Italians: Inter playmaker Barella, the old field boss Bonucci and the tall PSG goalkeeper Donnarumma, who gives all his teammates another kiss and wishes them well just before they enter the field.
Yet again no prize for Orange, which keeps falling short against top nations
It seemed so close, a prize for the Dutch team. The first since the 1988 European Championship.
A tribute on Museumplein and a canal cruise might not have made it, but winning the Nations League would certainly have been worth a celebration. “We are playing for a prize, there has to be that realization,” said captain Virgil van Dijk. “We have to do everything we can to win that cup.”
Only two games had to be won before that at the Final Four at home. It turned out to be an illusion. A prize is far away. To get prizes, you have to win from top countries and that is proving difficult for the current Dutch Team. Against the real top countries, the Netherlands falls short.
‘Schoolmaster’ De la Fuente must help Spanish soccer recover
Less controversy, more success. The mission with which the Spanish Football Federation put Luis de la Fuente at the helm of the national team on Dec. 8, 2022, was crystal clear.
After six months, it turns out La Roja for the inexperienced captain, however, a galleon that, despite a hefty change of course, still had difficulty steering.
De la Fuente, upon his appointment as seleccionador nacional absoluto certainty through the 2024 European Championships. But confidence in the Spanish selector came on foot at home and left on horseback.
The relatively unknown De la Fuente (61) began his proyecto, a multi-year plan to future-proof the Spanish team and bring back a prize after a decade of drought, is still extremely forward-looking.
Three days passed when De la Fuente’s head still headed for the chopping block.
Prodigy Gnonto (19) may rid Italy of its age-old stigma
After two missed World Cups in a row, Italian soccer could use some freshness. Although two years ago they still captured the European title, national coach Roberto Mancini hopes he can renew his squad.
And he wants to do that with teenage sensation Wilfried Gnonto. The 19-year-old is one of the players to keep an eye on during Italy’s Nations League game with Spain soon at 8:45 p.m.
Gnonto became the youngest ever goal scorer in the national team, on his debut a year ago against Germany. “In doing so, he sent a strong signal, both to me and to other youngsters. We hope many others will follow,” Mancini said of this.
A fabulous poster tonight in Enschede, where top nations Spain and Italy cross swords. What are we playing for? A spot in the Nations League final. On Wednesday, Croatia already qualified for that final by beating the Netherlands after an extension.
Follow all developments in Enschede in our liveblog or via flashes on NPO Radio 1. A summary of the match can be seen on NPO1 in the late news, around the clock of 23.25.