Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
The pressure on Spain mounts after Japan defeat
by Paul Kennedy, July 27th, 2012 1:01AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  japan, olympics, spain

MOST COMMENTED

[OLYMPIC SPOTLIGHT] Has Spain bitten off more than it can chew? Despite the presence of three players from its Euro 2012 team, Juan Mata, Javi Martinez and Jordi Alba, Spain fell to Japan, 1-0, in the opening game of the men's soccer competition in Glasgow. The short-handed Spaniards were lucky to escape Hampden Park by such a narrow margin as they needed several big saves from Manchester United goalie David de Gea to stay in the game.

American referee Mark Geiger didn't help the Spanish cause when he sent off Anigo Martinez in the 41st for a foul on Kensuke Nagai.

By then, Japan was ahead on a goal by Yuki Otsu off a corner kick, and it held off the short-handed Spaniards in the second half.

"With one player less, we were forced to chase the game," said Spain coach Luis Milla. "That isn't the style of the Spanish team."

This isn't the first time Spain has dug a hole for itself. It lost to Switzerland in the 2010 World Cup, then ran off six straight wins to win the title. It tied Italy in the opening game, then won its next four matches -- the semifinal against Portugal in a shootout -- to win the European Championship with a 4-0 win over Italy in the final in which Alba had the second goal.

 "We already knew about this extra pressure to win a gold medal, coming into the games," Milla said. "Everyone at the Spanish federation is delighted to have this pressure."

Spain next faces Honduras and Morocco, which played to a 2-2 draw in the other game.

 "We will treat the last two [group] games like cup finals," Milla said.



1 comment
  1. Ramon Creager
    commented on: July 27, 2012 at 4:21 p.m.
    That's Íñigo, not Anigo, Martínez. Also, this is not at all the same team that played in the Euro (despite the presence of those three, of whom only Alba started on the senior team), or that went down to Switzerland in 2010. The senior team can deal with this. This is essentially the team that won the U-21 European Championship in 2011, but still has to prove itself capable of overcoming a loss like this one.


Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Soccer America Power Rankings    
[MLS: Week 32] A classic encounter left the LA Galaxy, No. 1 in the Soccer America ...
Guardiola is happy to be back in Rome    
[UCL: Three Games to Watch] Two matches involving former champions, plus Pep Guardiola's return to Roma ...
Klingenberg golazo highlights another easy U.S. win    
[CONCACAF WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP] The USA cruised into the semifinals of the Concacaf Women's Championship with its ...
Concacaf Women's Championship Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Saturday] Trinidad & Tobago beat Guatemala, 2-1, on late goals by Kennya Cordner of the ...
Agudelo trial at Wolves ends    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Juan Agudelo's search for a club continues as English League Championship club Wolves passed ...
MLS clubs in position to outdo Mexican rivals    
[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] The group stage of the Concacaf Champions League concludes with Week 6 with ...
What They're Saying: India Premier League    
"Heaven has gained a defensive midfielder; apart from the hard tackles and the breaking up of ...
Bielsa sits on cup of coffee    
[VIDEO PICK: Off the Post] Not everything is going right for Marseille's coach Marcelo Bielsa, whose ...
U.S. under-14 girls national team roster    
[CARSON CAMP] Head coach April Kater has called up 35 players (with one more to be ...
What They Saying: Emilie Jacquot    
"It is unanimously positive. The FIFA scandal had an excellent impact on our brand awareness." -- ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives