Goal-shy Spain frustrating fans

2015-09-09 14:48
Vicente del Bosque (AFP Photo)

Madrid - Spain boss Vicente del Bosque patience has worn thin after the European champions laboured to a 1-0 win over Macedonia on Tuesday.

An uninspiring three points moved Del Bosque's men ever closer to sealing their place at the European Championships in France next year, where they will aim to win the tournament for a record third consecutive occasion.

Yet, far from champions, Spain barely even look like contenders as the hangover from their disastrous showing as holders at the 2014 World Cup threatens to roll over into another major international tournament.

"We honestly have to recognise that we didn't play well, " said Del Bosque after a comical own goal from Macedonian goalkeeper Tome Pacovski handed his side victory.

"We have won by chance and the explanation isn't easy.

"After the goal, we were static, slow, on our heels and lacking penetration."

However, the performance in Skopje wasn't a one-off. After the positive vibes of La Roja getting back to somewhere near their best in Friday's 2-0 win over Slovakia, it was another step in the wrong direction as Spain's struggle to score goals against the lesser lights of international football continued.

In five games in 2015, Spain have managed just six goals, including Pacovski's gift and another one from the penalty spot.

The lack of goals has seen the focus turned once more on Chelsea striker Diego Costa's suitability to Spain's 'tiki-taka' short-passing playing style.

Since turning his back on Brazil to play for his adopted country in 2013, Costa has scored just once in nine games with his solitary effort coming against minnows Luxembourg last October.

The 26-year-old will also miss the chance to get his international career going when Luxembourg visit Logrono next month as he is suspended after seeing his third yellow card of the campaign against Macedonia.

"When I start to score, Spain will score more goals," said a defiant Costa.

Yet, many question whether Del Bosque will show the same loyalty to him as he has to the heroes of the three consecutive major tournament wins between 2008 and 2012.


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