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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Oyarzabal hat-trick as Spain cruises past Andorra in Euros warm-up


The Spanish national team began their preparation for the forthcoming European Championships with a comfortable 5-0 win against Andorra.

Spain was sluggish in the first half but impressed as their rivals were tired in the second half, with Mikel Oyarzabal scoring a hat-trick.

The Spanish team will face Northern Ireland in another preparation game on Saturday. This match is crucial as coach Luis de la Fuente must cut his squad from 29 down to the 26 permitted in Germany, meaning it was the only chance for players such as Fermin Lopez, Aleix Garcia, Ayoze Perez, and Dani Vivian to impress.

A much-changed Spain side controlled nearly all of the ball but lacked cohesion to create many chances against a well-organized Andorra defense as the visitors worked hard to close down any spaces.

The first goal came from a corner when Pau Cubarsi nodded the ball down at the far post. Ayoze Perez still had work to do as he received the ball with his back to goal, but the forward was able to turn and score with a powerful shot.

A bad mistake from Aleix Garcia gifted the ball to Ricardo Fernandez, but David Raya got down well to make a comfortable save from the Andorra forward.

Alvaro Morata had the ball in the net again for Spain after he finished a cross from the right, but his effort was disallowed for a tight offside.

De la Fuente made four changes at halftime, with Cubarsi, Alex Grimaldo, Marcos Llorente, and Morata replaced by Jesus Navas, Marc Cucurella, Robin Le Normand, and Oyarzabal. Oyarzabal quickly sent a header looping just over the bar.

He doubled Spain’s lead in the 53rd minute with a near-post finish after the impressive Ayoze sent over a low cross. The substitute went on to complete a hat-trick in under half an hour, tapping in from Fermin Lopez and then smashing home a loose ball in the Andorra area as Spain dominated.

Ferran Torres made it 5-0 in the 80th minute after a swift move from the back and another assist from Fermin, ending a successful run-out for the Spanish.

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