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World Cup 2018: 3 players who let Spain down

Sujith Mohan
Top 5 / Top 10
36.35K   //    05 Jul 2018, 11:20 IST

Russia eliminated Spain from the World Cup
Russia eliminated Spain from the World Cup

Spain, the 2010 Champions, are knocked out of the 2018 World Cup in the round of 16 stage. Though they did not play poorly, they lacked penetration and struggled to create goal scoring opportunities. 

They drew their first game against Portugal 3-3 and won the game against Iran 1-0. They drew with Morocco 2-2 in their final group stage game and booked their clash against Russia in the round of 16.

Russia eliminated Spain from the tournament after beating them 4-3 on penalties. Though none of the players can be blamed for their World Cup exit, they have made some critical mistakes throughout the World Cup and failed as a team. 

The tiki-taka football which landed them the World Cup in 2010, caused their downfall in Russia because of poor execution. Particularly against Russia, they passed the ball sideways and backwards and found it hard to break Russia’s compact defence. 

On that note, let’s take a look at the 3 players who let Spain down in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

#3 Koke

Koke missed a penalty against Russia
Koke missed a crucial penalty against Russia

The Atletico Madrid star was a surprise starter for Spain in their World Cup opener against Portugal. He played alongside Sergio Busquets in the heart of Spanish midfield but was ineffective for the most part of the game. Though he provided some midfield stability, his services to Diego Costa and others were poor throughout the game. 

Koke was dropped to the bench for the subsequent games but started the round of 16 game against Russia. Though he was solid in his defensive aspects of the game, he lacked penetration with his passes. 

His deliveries into the box were inaccurate which made it really easy for Russia defenders. Also, he was poor with his spot-kick in the shootout against Russia and made it easy for Igor Akinfeev. A poor tournament by his own high standards. 

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