Saturday, 16 June 2018


yesterday portugal played spain in the world cup group match . portugal started the match with a 4-4-2 formation . while spain started the match with 4-3-3 formation . the game started with the usual script of portugal sitting back and hitting spain on the counter . fernando santo had his tactics right because if you are to play on the counter attack then you need to have two upfront and most importantly the front two seems to working in tandem with each other . portugal took the early lead because they able to overlaoad the left flank . portugal were able to do that because ronaldo shifted from the middle there and most importantly in the first 15-20 min spain's back line wasnt coming along upfield  with the front players to press them . so portugals players were getting time on the ball and were able to beat spains pressing game . now spain's pressing game were able to win them the 2010 world cup . the real reason why portugal were able to win the penalty was that there wasnt that clarity in the  spain team as to who was going to pick up raphael gurrero . porugal's left back was able to get go unabated upfield without an opposing player against him . spain had two player on that side with silva and koke but who was going to pick up gurrero wasnt decided . secondly he was aided by portugals tactics where on i think fernandes was told to come inside and provide cover to gurrero and let gurrero upfield because gurrero is a good crosser of the ball . in this match ronaldo was very good and he was ready to take players on and that won him the penalty for the first goal .

spain on offense
the game settled after 15 min where on the intial eurphoria of the portugal team died . the teams dont have the legs in them to close down players . spain there tiki taka game . spain attack was mostly from the left side and isco being the main progenitor .   there was some thinking to spains attack because of the players involved and the players that were in opposition . spain had isco,iniesta and alaba on that side while portugal had cedric,moutiniho and silva on that flank . portugals silva in one of the better players in that team and spain may had not wanted him to combine with the front players so spain wanted to push him back because he was marking alaba . alaba was given the lisecne to go beyond his front player a page taken barcelona's tactical book . spain had their tiki taka going and portugal were sitting back with a very compact two banks of four . even though portugal were trying to sit back compat but it a dangerous ploy because spain can move the ball very crisply and they have some very good players who have a very good game iq who know how to take position in the play and make themselves available .

what spain were trying to acheive with their offense was that they were trying to overload one flank and get either of isco or inesta getting deep into the portugal's box and then either crossing the ball for costa or koke who coming from the opposite flank .  even though spain were dominating the possession i think that they didnt use the arsenal that were at their disposal . nor did they use all of the canvas . while isco was seeing a lot of the ball silva was not having that joy . he too is one of the best ball player in that team . secondly the attack was just happening on the left flank and spain wasnt able to spread it on the right flank and they were getting greedy in crossing the ball . instead had they been patient and a better game reader and orchestrator of the game would had used the full canvas and tried to stretch portugal and opened them more . thirdly they have to bring costa more into the game and the offense should be around him and he should  be more involved in the offense . at time i felt that spain got greedy in trying to keep the ball instead of trying to take pick out players upfront who were in a good position to test oppsition's defense . spain had a good tiki taka game and dominated the possession but struggled on the counter and busquestus needs to be better with his game reading .i think he should be a little more upfront and should be the one pulling the strings . most important spain conceded three goals and at time on defense in think that on the counter there positinal awareness wasnt very good and were getting caught in wrong position . even when you are on offense you should have a reading as to from where the opposition can hurt them and should make that necessary adjustments to the game and i think after the tapes of the game heirro would make that  if spain are to go far in the world cup .

portugal had their tactics right but sitting this deep and inviting pressure in not going to get them very far in the world cup because a better organised team on offense will put them to sword . they cannot play this deep  but the satisfying thing for santos would be that they were able to beat the press and moved the ball very nicely . rafael carvalaho's performance in this game would be one of the most satisfying thing for him . the front two worked very well  and ronaldo's attitude and his performace would had satisfied him .