Spain beat Switzerland 1-0 on Thursday, June 9, thanks to an early goal from Pablo Sarabia. It was their first win in this year’s UEFA Nations League. Last year’s runner-ups dominated the game from the start, but they were only able to score once. In the 12th minute, after a low cross by Marcos Llorente, Sarabia scored from close range.
After a mistake by the Swiss defense, the Atletico Madrid winger found Sarabia hiding between two opponents inside the six-yard box, and he scored with a first-time shot. Spain has five points from their first three games in Group A2. They are two points behind the team in the first place, Portugal, and two points ahead of the team in third place, the Czech Republic. Switzerland has lost three games in a row, and since qualifying for this year’s World Cup, they haven’t won any of their last five games.
On Sunday, Spain will be hosting the Czechs in Malaga, and Switzerland will be hosting Portugal in Geneva. Spain’s coach, Luis Enrique, made eight changes to the starting lineup that played against the Czech Republic and ended up drawing 2-2.
With their speed, Llorente and Sarabia were the main targets of Spain’s attack. Behind the Swiss line, the young player Gavi fed them with accurate passes. Spain had almost 70% of the ball, but Alvaro Morata and Ferran Torres were not precise enough to make it pay off.
Luis Enrique told TVE that it’s important to remind people that Switzerland went 23 games without losing an official game at home for eight years.
“It’s hard to win when you’re not at home, and I think we played a serious game and tried to impose our style today. We lost, but that was to be expected given the level of our opponent, and I’m really happy with how things turned out.”
Switzerland only had one shot on goal the whole game, but Spain made two mistakes in the last few minutes that almost let Switzerland tie the game. Unai Simon, the goalkeeper, left his box to try to clear the ball, but he missed it. Breel Embolo’s shot went wide of the empty goal, and Haris Seferovic’s shot was blocked by Pau Torres.