Spain can’t have a shocker against Georgia in the round of 16.

Georgia posed problems for Spain for long periods in the Round of 16 and held the lead. In the end, the favorite still deservedly prevailed at 4:1. Now there will be a fast bowler against Germany in the European Football Championship.

Early shock, strong reaction: Spain complete their European Championship quarter-final clash against Germany, knocking out surprise team Georgia. Coach Luis de la Fuente’s side beat the outright outsiders 4-1 in the round of 16. Now the much-anticipated clash with the host nation takes place in Stuttgart on Friday.

Rodri (39th minute), Fabian Ruiz (51st), Nico Williams (75th) and Dani Olmo (83rd) scored for the Spaniards in front of 42,233 spectators in Cologne as they won their fourth straight European Championship. Georgia took the lead with an own goal by Robin Le Normand (18th) and fought back spiritedly. However, in the end the Spaniards, who excelled in football, deservedly won.

The German feared the enemy

In important competitive sports, the Iberians have been a feared opponent in this millennium. In 2008, the DFB lost 1–0 in the European Championship final. Two years later, Germany lost in the semi-finals of the World Cup in South Africa. A 1-1 draw in the opening round of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar was ultimately not enough for Germany.

In a rain-soaked Cologne, Spain immediately took the initiative and applied pressure in the first minute. Furia Roja pushed the Georgians far and wide, creating early chances. Petri’s first shot caused no problems for Georgia goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili. The 23-year-old had to show his entire class for the first time with Le Normand’s head. It was clear early on: the FC Valencia goalkeeper will have a lot of work to do.

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Another own goal

At first, however, Le Normand reluctantly made himself the leading actor. Otar Kagabatze sent a cross into his own net after a tussle with central defender Chvisha Kvartselia – Spain’s first goal of this European Championship. Almost 20,000 Georgian fans went crazy with joy. Their evening motto, heralded by a banner, “Hope” was firm: Georgia football believed in the miracle.

Even after the unexpected setback, Spain had the upper hand. Two young super-dribblers Lamine Yamal (16) and Niko Williams (21) could not get through against the Georgians’ well-stocked five-man chain. When they or one of their teammates won, Mamardashvili did his job well.

Redemption by Rhodri

But the goalkeeper lost strength in the 39th minute. Rhodry’s low shot from the edge of the penalty area equalized after an assist from Williams. 1:1 gave the Spaniards a boost. However, the second half started with a bang. Quaratselia stunned goalkeeper Unai Simeone. However, his shot from his own half flew half a meter wide of the goal.

Then the Spaniards rewarded themselves for their superiority. Mamardashvili did well to snatch Yamal’s free-kick but had no chance to defend from close range against Ruiz’s header. The title contender ran the ball well and made it clear in the closing stages. Williams and Leipzig substitute Olmo extended the lead. (APA/dpa)

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