For the second match in a row, Luis Enrique’s Spanish unit without players from Real Madrid failed to impress and dropped points again. The night at Seville was similar to the match against Sweden where nothing clicked and the missed penalty added enough frustrations, whereas Robert Lewandowski stepped up and rescued Poland.

Head coach Luis Enrique was true to his word when he announced in his pre-match press conference on Friday that his starting XI would be Morata and 10 others, with the maligned Juventus man upfront along with Moreno, who came in for Ferran Torres in what was the only change from the previous line-up against Sweden.

Poland started with enough intent and which actually surprised Spain.

Klich picked up a loose ball 30 yards out, moved forward and whipped a dipping shot that landed on the roof of the net. Unai Simon was at full stretch, though he could not cover enough.

The Polish tactics are interesting: 3-1-4-2 with the ball, 5-3-1-1 without and it kept Spain at bay.

Olmo swings a cross beyond the far post. He tried to hook it back across the face of the goal and the ball goes behind off Puchacz, which earned Spain a corner.

The corner is played short to Koke, whose fast cross is headed away.

The corner leads to a bit of a scramble until Rodri, eight yards out, had a fresh-air shot – it was a good chance but not effective.

Spain gradually elevated their game.

After some early bright moments for Poland, Spain soon assumed control and had an argument for a penalty when Moreno was pushed down from behind in the area, but nothing was forthcoming from Italian referee Daniele Orsato.

Morata’s moment would come midway through the half, with a bit of a boost from VAR, as it was ruled that Morata’s redirect into the net off a Moreno shot came from an onside position, giving Spain a 1-0 lead.

Moreno came into the infield, hugging the ball on his left foot, and drove a mishit shot across goal. Morata reacted smartly to turn it in from six yards, but then the flag went up for offside. This was very tight actually – the goal was given as Morata was just being played onside by Bereszynski.

There was a spring in Spain’s step after the Morata goal and Moreno almost made it two when a free-kick from just outside the area curled wide.

But Poland were just as keen to find a goal and they had two clear-cut cracks at goal right before half-time. From outside the area, Karol Swiderski slammed a shot off the post, with Lewandowski pouncing on the rebound and having just Simon to beat, but the Bayern Munich man could not find a way past the Basque back-stop.

Poland kept pressing for an equaliser and it arrived in short order in the second half when Lewandowski out-muscled Aymeric Laporte in front of goal and headed in a cross from Kamil Jozwiak to bring the visitors level 1-1.

The move started with Moder, who turned elegantly away from Pedri and Morata before finding Klich. He moved the ball wide to Jozwiak, who swung a deep cross towards Lewandowski, six yards out. Lewandowski bumped Laporte out of the way, strained his neck muscles and guided a superb header into the corner.

More drama was to come just minutes later when a penalty went in Spain’s favour via VAR for a Mateusz Klich foul on Moreno in the Polish area, but the Villarreal man’s spot-kick banged off the post and the rebounded shot from Morata missed the mark with the goal wide open.

Luis Enrique went to his bench for the first time right after the hour mark, with Ferran Torres on for Dani Olmo, followed a bit later by Pablo Sarabia and Fabian Ruiz for Koke and Moreno, respectively.

Spain mounted the pressure as time continued ticking toward full-time, the most glaring chance being for Morata after a chested-down pass from Ferran Torres, but veteran Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny came up with a massive save.


Luis Enrique’s last roll of the dice saw Mikel Oyarzabal on for Morata, but it mattered little in what was an unimaginative close to the match from Spain.

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