“The goal is not their mistake, it’s our good game,” said Luis Enrique, the Spanish coach. “It was a great job from our team which was rewarded with a goal.”Barcelona teenage sensation Ansu Fati and Oyarzabal missed other opportunities as Luis Enrique’s side failed to increase their lead.
Luis Enrique had chosen an experimental squad with a lot of youngsters, guided by a couple of veterans, including Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid and Sergio Busquets of Barcelona. Both were solid at the Alfredo Di Stéfano stadium in Real Madrid’s training ground, in which Spain did enough to win but were far from their best.
Switzerland carved out the first chance in the game but David de Gea reacted well to turn down Loris Benito, before the visitors gave Spain the advantage on a plateau. De Gea’s counterpart Yann Sommer tried to take a short goal kick but misplaced his pass to Granit Xhaka, Mikel Merino biting to steal the ball and feed his Real Sociedad teammate Oyarzabal, who finished with ease.
Fati, who became the youngest goalscorer in Spanish history during his previous Nations League outing against Ukraine in September, might have doubled the lead early in the second half, but his strike was blocked. Oyarzabal then hit the side net from close range as Spain started to create more chances and the game became tense, but neither side could find another goal.
Adama Traoré, who made his competitive debut as a substitute after winning his first cap against Portugal on Wednesday, said: “In the final third we couldn’t finish and we have to keep working on that. , especially me. But we start from here with the three points.
Germany scored in both halves to beat Ukraine 2-1 in Kiev for their very first victory in this competition.
Matthias Ginter put Germany in the lead in the 20th minute after good work from Antonio Rüdiger, and Leon Goretzka jumped on a mistake by Ukrainian goalkeeper Georgiy Bushchan to score his second goal four minutes after the restart.
Despite the rested players Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig returning to the lineup, the Germans were far from their best and a 77th-minute penalty from Ruslan Malinovskyi woke up 20,000 spectators at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev.
In a botched first half, Germany repeatedly lost possession of the ball, allowing Ukraine to quickly counterattack before Ginter’s goal died down.
Having conceded ties in each of their previous three matches, Germany were eager to strengthen their lead and carve out several good chances. But Bushchan had a good day making a series of saves before letting the ball slip out of his hands, allowing Goretzka to score in the 49th minute. He was then there again to prevent them from scoring, superbly feeling a wide shot from Serge Gnabry.
Malinovskyi withdrew one from the place but the Germans managed to protect their lead despite desperate late attacks from the hosts.
“I’m obviously happy that we won, but we could have led 3-0 or 4-0,” said German coach Joachim Löw. “In some cases we gave up the ball too easily. When we were 2-0 they were tired and maybe we should have played more counter attacks. But overall we were strong and didn’t give them too much of a chance, ”he said.
Ukraine will host Spain on Tuesday while the Germans, who had not won a single game in the inaugural 2018-19 competition and would have been relegated had it not been for the decision to expand League A groups to four teams, face Switzerland.