Spain won’t budge from pos­ses­sion game: Losada

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

EPE:

Spain will stick to their pos­ses­sion-based game de­spite al­most miss­ing out on the women’s Euro knock-out stages af­ter group losses to Eng­land and Scot­land, mid­fielder Vicky Losada said. Tipped as one of the favourites to win the women’s Euro, Spain were one goal away from elim­i­na­tion as a 1-0 de­feat to min­nows Scot­land on Thurs­day, cou­pled with a 2-0 de­feat to Eng­land, meant they squeaked through to the knock-out stages only on goal dif­fer­ence.

“We had a lot of chances and we couldn’t score, we had maybe 15 long-dis­tance shots,” Losada told AFP on Fri­day from Spain’s train­ing cen­tre in the cen­tral Dutch town of Epe. “The Scot­tish keeper yes­ter­day (Thurs­day) was re­ally good, I think we had eight clear chances to score and we were a bit un­lucky.

“Yes­ter­day it was hard for us to man­age the sit­u­a­tion, we were a bit ner­vous and we didn’t show our real game that we’ve been play­ing.” Spain dom­i­nated pos­ses­sion in both games, with an im­pres­sive 74 per­cent against Eng­land and 69 per­cent against Scot­land, but the goals did not come.

“I think we’ve been work­ing since we were five years old on this phi­los­o­phy of hav­ing long pos­ses­sion,” said Losada, who has spent most of the last 13 years with Barca, bar­ring brief stints with Es­panyol, Western New York Flash and Arse­nal. “Our play­ers al­ways want the ball. That’s our phi­los­o­phy, al­ways have the ball and never give it away.

“But against Eng­land we missed a lit­tle bit of more di­rect foot­ball, and we’re try­ing to get bet­ter at that.” In to­day’s quar­ter-fi­nal in Til­burg, Spain will face Euro new­com­ers Aus­tria, the tour­na­ment’s sur­prise pack­age af­ter top­ping their group fol­low­ing wins over Switzer­land and Ice­land and a 1-1 draw with France. “We’re so happy now to be in the quar­ter-fi­nals, we are one of the eight best teams of Europe, so we’re so proud as a team,” said Losada, who scored the first of Spain’s two goals in the tour­na­ment in the open­ing 2-0 win against Por­tu­gal.

She added it was time for Spain to start scor­ing against Aus­tria, who are ranked 24th in the world to Spain’s 13th.

“All the teams that we’ve played against, they had two nar­row lines-that’s been a prob­lem for us, but we’ll try to be bet­ter in that side of the game, try to shoot from long dis­tance and then have more chances (on the re­bound).

“That’s what we want to try to do if Aus­tria de­cide to play with a re­ally com­pact team.” Losada was on the Span­ish team that reached the Euro quar­ter-fi­nals in 2013, but didn’t play in the 3-1 loss to Nor­way. “When you play all or noth­ing, it’s eas­ier. You just go to the pitch and we want to show our style, our game,” she said. “I can’t wait.” — AFP

EPE: Spain’s team play­ers take part in a train­ing ses­sion dur­ing the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 foot­ball tour­na­ment in Epe city on Fri­day. — AFP

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