Spain cruise to quarter final tie against hosts Germany after disposing of plucky Georgia

Spain roared into the quarter finals of UEFA Euro 2024 with an emphatic 4-1 over plucky Georgia with teenage sensation Yamal and the feisty Nico Williams on fire.

Spain’s early efforts came mostly down the left as they played through the quick-footed Nico Williams and Lamine Yamal – the youngest player to make a EURO knockout round appearance aged 16 years and 353 days.

Georgia were set up deep and compact and as Spain edged closer and closer, it wasn’t long before Giorgi Mamardashvili was tested by Dani Carvajal’s downward header.

One-way traffic ensued until, against the run of play, Willy Sagnol’s side launched a surging counterattack. As the red shirts scrambled back, Lasha Dvali’s searching cross from the right wing seemed destined to find the arriving Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, but Robin Le Normand made contact first to turn into his own net on 18 minutes – the first goal La Roja had conceded at EURO 2024.

Spain were shaken. Speculative attempts from distance followed as they sought to recover, but the high pressing from Luis de la Fuente’s men was also leaving them exposed to a rapid Georgia team growing in confidence.

In the 39th minute, however, Spain finally made a breakthrough. Rodri capped a well-worked combination to find the bottom corner with a low left-footed drive from the edge of the penalty area.

An audacious Kvaratskhelia lob notwithstanding, Spain pushed the tournament debutants back in the second half, winning a free-kick just outside the box. Mamardashvili blocked Yamal’s initial effort, yet Spain recycled possession, and this time Yamal picked out Fabián Ruiz to glance home.

The two-time champions began to slow the tempo although this brave Georgia outfit continued to make frequent raids. However, with more space available, Williams cut in decisively from the left to coolly curl home La Roja’s third goal, before substitute Dani Olmo fired an 83rd-minute fourth to add sheen to the scoreline.

Spain: Unai Simón; Carvajal (Navas 81), Le Normand, Laporte, Cucurella (Grimaldo 66); Pedri (Olmo 52), Rodri, Fabián Ruiz (Merino 81); Yamal, Morata (Oyarzabal 66), Williams

Georgia: Mamardashvili; Kakabadze, Gvelesiani (Kvekveskiri 78), Kashia, Dvali, Lochoshvili (Tsitaishvili 63); Chakvetadze (Davitashvili 63), Kiteishvili (Altunashvili 41), Kochorashvili; Mikautadze (Zivzivadze 78), Kvaratskhelia

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