That brings an end to our coverage of the World Cup Qualifier in Group B between Spain and Greece at Nuevo Los Carmenes. Thank you very much for joining us. Goodbye!
Spain will hope for a better result in their upcoming Group B match. They travel to face Georgia next time out. Greece, meanwhile, have a friendly against Honduras before returning for a World Cup Qualifier on matchday three against Georgia.
Following an action-packed match, Spain and Greece share the points in their opening World Cup Qualifier. Spain dominated the ball in the first half, and Olmo came close to breaking the deadlock with a fierce strike that cannoned back into play off the bar. Shortly after, Morata latched onto Koke’s pass and fired the hosts into the lead. 11 minutes into the second half, Martinez gave away a penalty after sliding in late on Zeca, and Bakasetas made no mistake from the spot. Spain pushed for a winner, but Greece held firm for a hard-fought point.
90′ + 6′ FULL TIME: SPAIN 1-1 GREECE
90′ + 4′ BLOCK! The ball falls to Llorente inside the Greece penalty area, and his left-footed shot canons off Tzavellas before being hooked to safety.
90′ + 3′ In the other match in Group B, Sweden still hold a one-goal lead over Georgia.
90′ + 1′ Bakakis is currently down with cramp. He is now back to his feet and able to continue. There are three minutes left to play.
90′ There will be four minutes of added time at the end of this match.
88′ Thiago steers a clever flick beyond the Greece defence for Oyarzabal, although the winger is just caught on his heels and cannot keep the ball in play.
86′ Rodrigo is impeded by Siopis and Spain win a free-kick in their own half. The game is beginning to lose its rhythm now.
85′ Rodrigo lofts a deft pass in behind the visitors’ defence for Gaya, who goes down under pressure from Bakakis after seeking to latch onto the ball. The referee does not blow for a foul, and the flag goes up for offside against the Spanish full-back.
83′ The game is getting a little scrappy now. Giakoumakis goes into the book for kicking the ball away following a foul on Gaya deep inside the Spain half.
81′ Zeca picks up a late yellow card after cynically pulling back Oyarzabal when the winger looked to break. He can have no complaints with that decision.
80′ With ten minutes of normal time left to play, Tsimikas makes way for Kiriakopoulos. It remains 1-1.
78′ Van’t Schip makes his fourth change of the game. Bakasetas, who scored the equaliser, makes way for Giakoumakis.
77′ Tsimikas is pushed to the ground from behind by Oyarzabal, and the Blue and White win a free-kick deep inside their own half. The Greek full-back is now down with cramp.
76′ WHAT A CHANCE! Gaya plays a quick one-two with Morata and drives in behind the visitors’ defence. The full-back delivers a low cross into the back post for Oyarzabal, but Tsimikas just does enough to put the attacker off and deny him the simplest of finishes.
74′ Thiago spots Llorente’s forward run ahead of him, and looks to play a clever pass around the corner. On this occasion, the substitute’s throughball runs out for a goal-kick.
72′ Oyarzabal also comes onto the field in place of Torres. There are 18 minutes of normal time left to play.
72′ In search of a second goal, Enrique brings on Thiago for Koke.
70′ DECENT CHANCE! Rodrigo floats a pass over to the right flank for Torres, and he gets the ball down and lofts it into the box. Morata meets the delivery at the back post, but his header into the ground bounces up kindly for Vlachodimos to make a routine stop.
69′ Siopis is caught by Pedro a few yards outside of the visitors’ box, and Van’t Schip’s side are awarded a free-kick.
67′ Llorente looks to get the better of Tsimikas down the right-hand side of the pitch, but the Greek full-back stands his ground and calmly dispossesses the Spaniard.
65′ Van’t Schip also turns to his bench in an effort to freshen things up. Fortounis enters the fray, and Masouras is withdrawn. It remains 1-1.
65′ The hosts make a double change. Gil comes on for Canales.
64′ Olmo, who struck the bar in the first half, is brought off for Pedri with 26 minutes of normal time left to play.
62′ Morata goes down in the box claiming that he was impeded by Tzavellas, even though he was holding the defender’s shirt. The decision goes Greece’s way, and they win a free-kick.
60′ Spain are showing a little more urgency now following Greece’s leveller. Gaya’s cross from the left is turned behind for a corner at the back post by Tsimikas, and the resulting set-piece comes to nothing.
58′ Greece’s equalising goal was not only their first effort on target, it was also their first shot of the match.
56′ GOOAAAAAAALLL! The visitors are level! Bakasetas emphatically fires his spot-kick down the middle and into the roof of the net. Simon stood no chance after diving to his right. 1-1.
55′ PENALTY! Martinez’s heavy touch inside the penalty area sees him slide to clear the ball, and he catches the onrushing Zeca with the follow through. He is shown a yellow card and Greece have a penalty. Bakasetas will take it…
54′ After stealing the ball midway inside his own half, Siopis launches a quick counter. Spain quickly get back into their shape and snuff out the danger.
52′ PENALTY? Gaya lays the ball off to Olmo, who cuts inside onto his right foot and looks to send a cross into the box. The delivery cannons against Masouras, and the home side appeal for a penalty. The referee, however, waves away the protests.
50′ WIDE! Llorente sets Torres away down the right flank, and the winger pulls his cross back to Morata. From a few yards outside the visitors’ penalty area, the goalscorer fires a first-time shot wide of the near post.
49′ Bakasetas’ headed forward pass catches Masouras in an offside position and the flag goes up.
48′ The second half has started in similar fashion to the manner in which the first ended. Spain are dominating the ball and Greece have everyone back defending in their own half.
46′ We are back underway! Guida, the referee, blows his whistle and Greece get the second half kicked off.
46′ It is a double substitution for the away side at the break. Limnios is brought off for Siopis.
46′ Van’t Schip also turns to his bench, replacing Mantalos with Tzolis for the second half.
46′ Enrique makes one change at the break. The captain, Ramos, makes way for Martinez.
Enrique will be pleased with his side’s first-half display and will hope for more of the same after the restart. Torres and Olmo were the liveliest players on the park in the opening 45 minutes, and they will be instrumental if the home side are to extend their lead in the second half. Van’t Schip, meanwhile, will demand more from his team offensively after the break. The visitors have yet to register a single shot, nor have they looked threatening on the counter.
After a one-sided opening half, Spain take a one-goal lead into the break. For all of their possession, it took the hosts 32 minutes to create their first meaningful chance, with Olmo striking the bar with a long-range effort. One minute later, Enrique’s side broke the deadlock. A well-weighted pass from Koke picked out Morata, and the striker found the top-left corner with a first-time shot to give Spain a first-half lead.
45′ HALF TIME: SPAIN 1-0 GREECE
43′ Canales’ cross from the left is taken down by Torres, before Koke takes over and sees a first-time shot from the edge of the box blocked behind for a corner off Tsimikas. The resulting set-piece comes to nothing.
41′ Bakakis sends a lofted throughball in behind the hosts’ defence for Masouras to chase. The winger just went a fraction too early and the referee’s assistant flags for offside.
39′ In the other match in Group B, Viktor Claesson has given Sweden the lead against Georgia.
37′ Spain are searching for a second goal and continue to dominate the ball. Garcia and Ramos are pushing forward in an attempt to give Canales and Koke more of a license to roam.
35′ Enrique’s side scored with their first shot on target.
33′ Prior to that goal, everything had been played in front of Greece. Koke sought to change the dynamic, and his pass from a central area midway inside the visitors’ half was pinpoint. Morata timed his run to perfection and applied a top-drawer finish.
33′ GOOOOAAAALL! Spain get the breakthrough! The hosts recycle the ball back to Koke in the centre of the park, and his lifts an inviting pass over the Greece defence for Morata. The striker controls it with his chest and fires a first-time shot into the top-left corner from close range. 1-0.
32′ OFF THE BAR! After picking the ball up down the left flank, Olmo cuts inside and onto his right foot before striking the bar with a well-struck shot from the edge of the box.
31′ Torres shows a good turn of pace to drive inside from the right flank and send a low left-footed cross into the box. Olmo was arriving at the back post, but Bakakis was well-placed to clear the danger.
29′ For all of Spain’s possession, they have not caused Greece too many problems. The Blue and White are keeping their shape and making it compact in the centre of the pitch.
27′ A slack pass from Ramos gifts the ball to Limnios on the edge of the hosts’ penalty area, although the Spain captain stands his ground to stop the winger’s darting run into the box.
25′ Koke drops into a pocket of space and tries to pick out Llorente’s overlapping run. His pass, however, is overhit and runs behind for a goal-kick.
23′ Morata is caught from behind by Papadopoulos on the halfway line and Spain are awarded a free-kick.
21′ The home side have enjoyed 75 per cent of the possession thus far.
19′ Olmo is adjudged to have handled Garcia’s lofted pass, and Greece win a free-kick deep inside their own half.
18′ Ramos again looks to pick out Torres with a long, searching pass down the right-hand side of the field. Tsimikas watches it all the way and heads it clear.
16′ Garcia looks to advance the play down the right flank, but his pass is easily cut out by Tsimikas before Torres was able to gather it.
14′ CLOSE! Gaya’s driven shot from an acute angle down the left flank falls to Koke in the centre of the box, and his initial close-range effort is blocked, before Zeca deflects the follow-up strike behind for a corner.
13′ Spain are comfortably knocking the ball around midway inside the visitors’ half. Ramos switches the play over to the right for Torres, although he is dispossessed by Tsimikas.
11′ Morata is a little too eager to regain possession and catches Bouchalakis deep inside the away side’s half. A free-kick is given to Greece.
10′ Olmo shows quick feet to cut inside from the lest and skip beyond a couple of Greece players before looking to set Morata away in behind. Papadopoulos intercepts the pass and Vlachodimos is called into action to hook the ball to safety.
8′ There is going to be a brief stoppage in play as Bakasetas is down holding his face following a collision with Garcia on the halfway line. He is now back to his feet and should be fine to continue.
6′ Zeca catches Koke and Spain win a free-kick midway inside the Greece half. The visitors are penned in at present.
4′ The hosts have started brightly and are enjoying the bulk of the early possession. Llorente and Torres are seeing plenty of the ball down the right flank.
2′ CHANCE! Torres breaks down the right-hand side of the field and lofts a ball into the box from the byline. The delivery evades Morata and Olmo cannot quite adjust quickly enough to keep his header under the bar.
1′ Kick-off! The referee, Marco Guida, blows his whistle and Spain get the game kicked off.
The teams are out, and kick-off will soon be upon us here at Nuevo Los Carmenes.
Spain and Greece last faced each other in the 2008 European Championships at Red Bull Arena. Luis Aragones’ team defeated the Blue and White 2-1. Daniel Guiza and Ruben de la Red scored for Spain.
Enrique’s team have been in a rich vein of form in their last twelve fixtures. In fact, aside from one defeat to Ukraine on matchday four of the Nations League, Spain last lost against Russia in their round-of-16 clash during the 2018 World Cup. Greece, meanwhile, have suffered defeat in two of their previous twelve matches. On the road, the away side have kept three clean sheets in that time.
Luis Enrique makes two changes from the Spain side that defeated Germany in their last outing. Llorente and Garcia come into the defence in place of Sergi Roberto and Pau Torres. John van’t Schip, on the other hand, makes five alterations from the Greece line-up that drew with Slovenia. Bakakis, Papadopoulos, Mantalos, Bouchalakis and Masouras replace Mavrias, Pantelis Chatzidiakos, Dimitris Kourbelis, Fortounis and Giakoumakis.
GREECE SUBS: Stefanos Kapino, Sokratis Dioudis, Georgios Kyriakopoulos, Thanasis Androutsos, Stratos Svarnas, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Charalampos Mavrias, Manolis Siopis, Christos Tzolis, Konstantinos Fortounis, Georgios Giakoumakis, Vangelis Pavlidis
SPAIN SUBS: David de Gea, Robert Sanchez, Pedro Porro, Jordi Alba, Diego Llorente, Inigo Martinez, Sergio Busquets, Pedri, Thiago, Fabian Ruiz, Bryan Gil, Mikel Oyarzabal.
GREECE (4-3-3): Odisseas Vlachodimos; Michalis, Bakakis, Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Georgios Tzavellas, Konstantinos Tsimikas; Petros Mantalos, Zeca, Andreas Bouchalakis; Dimitris Limnios, Giorgos Masouras, Anastasios Bakasetas.
SPAIN (4-3-3): Unai Simon; Marcos Llorente, Eric Garcia, Sergio Ramos, Jose Gaya; Sergio Canales, Rodrigo, Koke; Ferran Torres, Dani Olmo, Alvaro Morata.
These teams last played an international match back in November 2020. Since then, no fixtures have been scheduled. Spain enjoyed an emphatic six-goal victory over Germany on matchday six of the Nations League. Greece, on the other hand, played out a goalless draw at home to Slovenia.
Hello and welcome to live match coverage of the World Cup Qualifier in Group B between Spain and Greece at Nuevo Los Carmenes.