Spain have lost for the first time in this season of the UEFA Nations League, and it was a big surprise as La Roja lost 1-0 to Ukraine in Kiev after completing dominating the first 70 minutes of the match. But the visitors missed a lot of really good chances and paid for it, and Barcelona’s Ansu Fati did not play well once again despite starting his second game in a row.
Ukraine lost a close game to Germany over the weekend by playing a tight defense and hurting the Germans on the counter attack, and that seemed to be the gameplan for this game as well. Unfortunately, it didn’t work: Spain absolutely dominated the first half, keeping possession and creating danger from all sorts of places.
Ansu Fati missed a golden chance early on, Sergio Ramos had two very dangerous shots, Rodrigo almost scored a beautiful header, Canales fired a shot just wide, and Adama Traoré terrorized everything in sight on the right wing. Spain should have scored at least two goals, but somehow didn’t.
At halftime, the score was 0-0 but the score did not tell the story. Could Spain come up with the winning goals in the second half or would Ukraine find a way to avoid defeat?
Spain continued to be the better team and bring plenty of danger through wing play, but Ukraine started to look stronger and stronger as time went on, pressing higher up the pitch and playing with more intensity.
And then, the shocker: Yarmolenko played a perfect through ball, Tsigankov found himself in loads of space, saw David De Gea out of positions and passed the ball into the back of the net for the opening goal.
Spain were desperate for an equalizer and just sent balls into the box looking for Sergio Ramos, but they couldn’t find the goal and the final whistle came to award a massive victory for Ukraine.
Ukraine: Buschan; Karavaev, Zabarnyi, Mykolenko, Sobol; Sydorchuk (Kovalenko 60’), Makarenko, Shaparenko; Yarmolenko, Yaremchuk, Zubkov (Tsigankov 65’)
Goal: Tsigankov (76’)
Spain: De Gea; Navas, Ramos, Torres, Reguilón; Canales (Dani Olmo 73’), Rodri, Merino (Ceballos 46’); Adama, Rodrigo (Oyarzabal 58’), Ansu Fati (Torres 58’)