Spain regained control of its destiny in Football World Cup qualifying with a 2-0 win in Kosovo, highlighted by protests from home fans against Spain’s failure to recognize the country Spain now has 13 points after goals from Pablo Fornals and Ferran Torres, four more than Sweden, which fell 2-1 to Greece. The Swedes are up to two games in a row. In November, Spain and Sweden will meet in their final qualifying match.
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Some of the closely 1,000 fans at the Fadil Vokrri Stadium in Pristina held up banners criticizing Spain’s posture in not identifying Kosovo’s independence from Serbia in 2008. During the national encounter in April, Spanish radio ignored the usual protocols by not mentioning Kosovo as a country and using the lowercase letter kos in the picture.
Even before this fight, the Spanish Federation had incensed Kosovo officials by mentioning to Kosovo as a territory. The TV station used the capital letters KOS, although the announcer still referred to the opposing team as the Federation of Kosovo team and used expressions such as Federation of Kosovo players.
Fornals, making his first appearance for Spain, gave the visitors the lead in the 32nd minute with a shot from the edge of the box before Torres made it perfect in the 90th minute. Kosovo came close to equalizing twice. Vedat Muriqi, who scored in each of Kosovo’s last two games, fired in a one-on-one in the 53rd minute, while Zymer Bytyqi forced Spanish goalkeeper Unai Simón into a brilliant save with a shot from close range in the 80th minute. For more details about Football World Cup Tickets.
Spain coach Luis Enrique said that these games are always difficult. We struggled from the start, but in the end, we took three points. It was all even and we saw the results of Greece and Sweden. The fact that we are relying on ourselves does not mean that we will succeed. We still have two games.
Greece defeated Sweden with goals from Tasos Bakasetas in the 62nd minute and Vangelis Pavlidis in the 78th minute and is now in third place in Group B with six points and two games to go, ahead of Spain. In the 80th minute, substitute Robin Quaison scored the tying goal for Sweden. We had to wait almost four minutes for the confirmation of Pavlidis’ goal, as the video control ruled out an offside position. Sweden had numerous chances, but they were thwarted by the Greek goalkeeper Odisseas Vlachodimos.
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