Spain cruised to a 3-1 victory over Cyprus in Limassol on Thursday evening, a result that has all-but ensured that they will finish top of their Euro 2024 qualification group. A victory over Georgia on Sunday would also see them secure Pot 1 for the group stage draw for next summer’s tournament.
La Roja raced into a three-goal lead in the first half, but failed to add to their total in the second period. Upon understanding why, head coach Luis de la Fuente believes that the injury to Mikel Oyarzabal was a contributing factor, as per Marca.
“Mikel’s injury has worried us, it seemed like something more important. It’s clear that it affected us in the second half, also that Cyprus tightened up defensively.
“I’m not at all disappointed (with the second half performance), nor will I penalise those who played then. Matches are complex. I’m delighted with the players. We’re where we want to be.”
De la Fuente also paid tribute to Lamine Yamal, who capped his third appearance for La Roja (second start) with his second goal.
“He has that talent, that ability to naturally do things that seem impossible. We’re delighted with him.”
Spain will now look ahead of the match against Georgia, and they will be determined to see out their campaign on a high with another victory, which would extend their winning run to eight matches in all competitions.
Image via EFE/EPA/Robert Perry