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  • 17 November 2023

Cyprus vs Spain. Who is going to sit on the top today?

The much-awaited game between Estonia and Austria, and everybody asks whether Estonia could change its fortune. Estonia has a huge challenge ahead after a run of hard matches that culminated in a 2 – 0 loss at the hands of Austria. Austria is the more likely winner than Estonia, but the latter has something to say. It is Estonia that has a home crowd behind them, while its spirit is willing to fight. Fans will be hoping that things might change for Estonia today.Meanwhile, Spain is on a roll with six victories on the spin, including annihilating Cyprus 6-0 the last time out. The team sees some changes for this match: Navas, age 50 caps, gets the left back position, Yamal, age 16, gets his chance at right wing, Grimaldo debuts as left-back, and Joselu is the front man. Unfortunately, some vital personalities lack in this list including the likes of Kepa Arrizabalaga, Aymeric Laporte, Pedri, Ansu Fati, and Marco Asensio.

Cyprus, which is not faring well in qualifiers, hasn’t won any game so far and has conceded 25 goals in seven games, a record that is inferior to San Marino’s. Pittas is spearheading the attack, and Lafit is guarding the defense on the flank without Sotiriou and Christofi as the top scorers.

Today's match is a stark contrast of fortunes: However, Spain has already qualified for the finals as the leading group together with Scotland on point difference but ahead. Cyprus, in the last place, have lost all their matches and look forward to save some face in their next meetings.

Let’s take a look at today’s match highlights:

1st half begins!

  • A minute one and a thrilling atmosphere is experienced in the stadium where Cyprus kicks off.
  • Spain pushes hard for an opportunity in the 2nd minute only to create nervous moments in the penalty area of Cyprus after their corner kick. But the home team manages to clear the ball into safety.
  • Goal from Spam in the 5th minute! Within a few minutes, Spain scores. Joslu let a pass from Pau Torres pass for smart Gavi than passed it to Merino on the left. Yamal, an unmarked, makes a run up and beats Merino’s cross by the head, while Joselu misses. Moving away skillfully from Mall, and scores into the right corner making the score 1-0 for Spain.
  • In the 10th minute, Cyprus tries a counter-attack after Pittas runs after a forward pass. However, the Spanish goalkeeper, Raya, dashes out of his goal to stop the ball.
  • Another move comes up for Spain in the 11 th minute as Yamal cuts in and sends a left-footed cross into the box. Joselu wills for that and reaches for it, but Góic from Cyprus sees it, and clears it.
  • By the 13th minute, Spain is still pressing with Navas captaining with 50 caps having just one thing in mind – linking with Gavi. The pass down the right is a little too firm, and there is a goal kick for Cyprus.
  • In 17th minute, Correia fouled on Zubimendi who was starting a run from his half of field. The Greek winger receives the match’s first yellow card for this challenge.
  • Oyarzabal nips it in the 22nd minute for Spain, that is two nil! It’s a goal for Zlatan, he bypasses Mall, and scores! The offside flag goes up, but after consultation with VAR, this goal stands.
  • Post shot by Zubimendi in the 26th minute! After a good play, his shot from the edge of the box hits the left post.
  • Joselu scores in the 28th minute and extends Spain’s advantage to 3-0! Joselu is not spared as he scores with ease after a brilliant corner kick by Oyarzabal.
  • Another big chance for Spain in the 38th minute. Joselu clears a pass to Oyarzabal, but Mall the Cyprus goalie makes an almost immediate save.
  • Oyarzabal gets stretched in the 40th minute and has to leave the pitch. He's replaced by Riquelme.
  • In the 43rd minute, Cyprus has their first shot on target. Spain has taken four shots for three goals.
  • Three extra minutes are added in the 45th minute of the first half.
  • During the additional time in the 45+minute, at half-time and with Spain winning 3-0 versus Cyprus.

2nd half begins!

  • Spain replaces two players in the 46th minute. David Garcia replaces Le Normand, and Aleix Garcia debuts for Merino.
  • Also at half time, Cyprus makes changes in the 46th minute. Spoljaric replaces Kyprianou, Pileas comes in for Correia (who had a yellow card), and Charalampous takes Kyriakou’s place.
  • At the 58th minute, a chance for Gavi of Spain from the end of the box; too slow he shoots and Cyprus defendants cover him.
  • When Karo from Cyprus commits a late foul on Riquelme in the 59th minute.
  • In the 60th minutes, Ciprus exchanges Pittas for Kakoullis. One of the few Cypriots players who had a chance to shoot was Pittas.
  • The referee denies Karo’s plea for corner in the 63rd minute, awarding them a goal-kick.
  • Navas, celebrating his 50th cap for Spain, is replaced by Carvajal in the 66th minute.
  • Cyprus makes another substitution, taking off Karo and bringing in Kousoulos.
  • 75th minute — Goal for Cypriot. Charalampos Charalampous assists Kostas Pileas.
  • With an excellent assisted via Charalampous, Pileas completes a goal for Cyprus.
  • The yellow card is given to Kousoulos from Cyprus at the 77th minute for his argument with the referee over this goal review.
  • The team from Cyprus scores their third goal in the 79th minute turning defense into attack.
  • In the 81st minute, a feeling of optimism spreads throughout the stadium because Cyprus has a moment in the game.
  • The Spanish Riquelme is given a yellow card in the 82nd minute for preventing Spoljaric of Cyprus.
  • In the 87th minute, Spoljaric holds back Gavi from Spain.
  • Three minutes of stoppage time, which is added to the ninety-minutes of the second half.
  • In the 90”+2′ minute, Piledias from Cyprus is only down, but gets up and plays.
  • Spain prevails against Cyprus, 3-1 in the 90′+4′minute.

With this win, Spain strengthens its leadership on Group A. Their goal scorers in this game were Yamal, Oyarzabale, and Joselu whereas Cyprus put in their late goal scored by Pileas. Cyprus scores no points from eight matches. Spain goes on to play Georgia and Cyprus have an international friendly match with Lithuania.

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