gtag('config', 'UA-12595121-1'); Spain Overcomes Early Own Goal to Defeat Georgia 4-1, Advances to Euro 2024 Quarter-Finals – The Zimbabwe Mail

Spain Overcomes Early Own Goal to Defeat Georgia 4-1, Advances to Euro 2024 Quarter-Finals

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COLOGNE, Germany, – Three-time champions Spain secured their place in the Euro 2024 quarter-finals with a commanding 4-1 victory over Georgia, overcoming an early own goal in a thrilling match.

Spain will face hosts Germany in the quarter-finals on Friday, showcasing their intent with a polished performance in the drizzling rain, highlighted by goals from Rodri, Fabian Ruiz, Nico Williams, and Dani Olmo.

Spain fell behind in the 18th minute when Georges Mikautadze’s cross struck Robin Le Normand, resulting in an own goal and sending Georgian fans into a frenzy. Georgia, playing in their first European Championship, were buoyed by their stunning 2-0 win over Portugal that secured their knockout stage berth.

Georgia’s spirited performance was backed by thousands of travelling supporters, creating a vibrant atmosphere. Spain, coming off three group stage wins without conceding a goal, fielded their first-choice players, while Georgia retained a lineup featuring joint top scorer Georges Mikautadze and standout goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili.

Spain remained composed despite Georgia’s determination. Young talents Williams and Lamine Yamal were particularly impactful on the flanks. “Against Germany, we have to be at our best,” said player of the match Rodri. “We knew it was going to be a tough match. They put us in trouble. We had chances. It was a pity about the goal, but we showed character and pride to come back.”

Spain dominated from the start, nearly scoring in the first five minutes when Dani Carvajal’s cross found Pedri, who forced a save from Mamardashvili. Williams was a constant threat, his goal-bound effort deflected wide early on. Mamardashvili made several crucial saves, keeping Georgia in the game.

Spain equalized in the 39th minute when Williams assisted Rodri, who fired low into the corner. Georgia continued to fight, with Mikautadze and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia launching counterattacks. Kvaratskhelia almost scored from inside his own half, narrowly missing the target with a long-range effort.

Spain took the lead six minutes into the second half when Yamal’s curling cross was headed home by Fabian Ruiz. Williams extended the lead in the 75th minute, and substitute Dani Olmo completed the scoring with seven minutes left.

Georgia’s coach Willy Sagnol praised his team’s effort, stating, “The squad has been absolutely fantastic. I’m very proud of that. I’m very proud of what the players have done in the last months. Now it’s the end of a journey, but I’m sure the next one will also be very exciting.”

Spain’s victory not only secured their spot in the next round but also sent a strong message to their upcoming opponents, Germany. The quarter-final clash promises to be an exciting encounter as Spain continues their quest for a fourth European Championship title.

Source: Reuters