Spain endure another blow to their ambitions of a sparkling Euro 2020 run after Robert Lewandowski rescued a point for a gutsy Poland at La Cartuja in Group E.
Alvaro Morata’s early goal looked to have put Luis Enrique’s side in the front seat for a first win of the tournament, five days after they were held to a goalless draw by Sweden in their opening game.
Yet a second-half penalty for Paulo Sousa’s side meant that La Roja were held to consecutive draws on home turf despite their superior possession once more, leaving their final group-stage clash with Slovakia as a “must-win” encounter to reach the knockout rounds, per defender Pau Torres.
Torres’s Villarreal team-mate Gerard Moreno spurned a chance to deliver a possible matchwinner after his penalty hit the post mere minutes after Lewandowski tied things up, but the defender was quick to rally around the forward.
“Gerard hadn’t missed a penalty all season, I believe in him to score them,” he added. “The message is to keep believing in ourselves. We’re going to give our all to be in the next round.”
The sense of a lost opportunity hung like a spectre over Spain’s unsuccessful efforts to break Poland down across the final half-hour.
Manchester City midfielder Rodri acknowledged that La Roja cannot expect to have easy opponents every step of the way, but admitted that their struggles to finish opportunities fed into a lack of sure-footed confidence at points throughout the game.
Spain head to their final game with Slovakia knowing that victory will be enough to secure them a top-two berth, regardless of the result between Poland and Sweden in Saint Petersburg.
A draw may be enough for qualification, dependent on other results across the tournament, but Luis Enrique will know that a win is the only way to guarantee a knockout stage spot.