Wow! Now that’s what you call as a neck to neck battle. Spain vs Christiano Ronaldo would probably go down as one of the best games of this World Cup’s group stages. The Portuguese superstar single-handedly drew the game for Portugal and emerged as a party spoiler for Spain, the 2010 World Cup Champions.
It was a contest that every football fan would have cherished to the optimum. Ronaldo seemed like a man with possession as he dominated Spain’s XI from the first instant. One could say it was Ronaldo’s game of the highest order, something which he hadn’t emulated before in the World Cups.
Spain as a team might have contributed to saving the game for themselves, but had a lot of flaws in their play, something that needs an immediate check prior to their next game.
Let’s have a look at the top 3 blunders that cost Spain their match against Portugal
De Gea’s oversight
The Manchester United star goal-keeper had a nightmare on the field in the form of Ronaldo. There was nothing that he could do save himself from Ronaldo’s attack. From the 4th minute of the game till the 88th minute, Ronaldo kept on knocking his doors and got the better of him under each situation.
The first one goal came few minutes after the game had commenced, credits to Ronaldo for cleverly deceiving De Gea into going the other way, the last one came in at the 88th minute in the form of a free kick. But it is the second one that came in at 44 minutes which would be remembered for years to come.
Ronaldo hit a powerful low shot that went past the keeper’s hand straight to the nets. If it had not happened, probably the outcome that we know would have been different.
Koke turning impotent at the crucial occasions
There were no traces of Koke throughout the 90 minutes. Though he started the game as a midfielder with Busquets and Iniesta on his either ends but seemed helpless during the high octane battle. He could hardly establish his control over the ball.
HIs dismal performance put the pressure on Iniesta, and the Barcelona star struggled to dominate the way he does while playing the game. He looked pathetic, both with his defense and offense. It porbably was his worst performance till date as he failed to contribute from the middle.
Bringing in Aspas in place of Costa
Diego Costa had already smacked 2 goals for Spain and looked in terrific touch during the game. He was on a completely different level until Spain’s newly appointed coach Fernando Hierro brought in Lago Aspas as his replacement in the 77th minute of the game..
This move hindered Spain’s chances of creating more opportunities for a much-needed win. The team lost their lead attacker and what followed was a fatal draw from Spain’s end as the Portuguese superstar inflicted a final blow in the 88th minute to level up the game.
Though Spain somehow managed to get the ball under Portugal’s half but couldn’t do anything at all. Aspas’s impotency in managing the ball cost them a crucial game. A victory would have helped them get to the top position in the points table.