SPAIN’S KING RUBIO: Have Spain’s heavyweights won their first Group B games in their 2018 FIFA World Cup group?
SPAIN have been dominant in Group B, overwhelming the Ecuadorians at the Mordovia Arena.
Somebody at FIFA has ranked goals with an emphasis on the final period, though, and the Tzornals took ten minutes to score before Sergio Ramos scored the opener, connecting with a short cross-field pass from Andres Iniesta.
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Speaking about the victory, Iniesta said: “We’re going to be able to play with these style to play on Sunday with the team of the best player in the world. All credit to Spain. We did exactly what we wanted to do.”
GETTY Sevilla’s Franco Vazquez came on for Spain but couldn’t prevent defeat against Ecuador
Iniesta and Ramos were brilliant, all too often letting Ronaldo and Coutinho see more of the ball when Spain carried out their set-piece duties. It was to be Sevilla star Franco Vazquez who replaced Iniesta early in the second half.
Vazquez came on to a chorus of boos and attracted a few more from the media, but none louder than Vazquez himself. The thought that he may be on the brink of a Spain recall, perhaps with a place in the starting line-up for the next game against Colombia, seemed to sink in – and Vazquez refused to hear any of the outbursts aimed at him from the crowd.
LADBROKES France v England
France, with their more or less fully-fit squad, went into a World Cup qualifier against the Netherlands as the only team to have won all four of their previous games in the qualification group.
The injuries France have suffered in the last few months are no doubt keen on the minds of both managers. Indeed, France suffered through their tightest game to date, thanks in part to a 5-1 scoreline that’s often eluded Les Bleus at home and away against Sweden.
LADBROKES France’s N’Golo Kante (right) fights for the ball with the Netherlands’ Kenneth Vermeer
But France finally managed to put all their past mistakes to bed in Cologne. Antoine Griezmann came off the bench in the second half to score twice in three minutes and the Cameroon international duo of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Andre-Pierre Gignac, on a massive night for him in the middle of the park, made sure it was 4-0 to the hosts by the end.
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