Excellent Lamine Yamal Scores 2nd Goal in 3rd Cap as Spain Downs Cyprus 3-1 to Qualify for Euro 2024Sports 

Excellent Lamine Yamal Scores 2nd Goal in 3rd Cap as Spain Downs Cyprus 3-1 to Qualify for Euro 2024

After becoming the youngest player to net for La Roja in September against Georgia, Lamine Yamal continued his excellent form for Spain as he netted his 2nd strike for the country and their first in their 3-1 win at the Alphamega Stadium. Spain manager Luis de la Fuente rested several regular starters against the struggling home team, with Lamine Yamal’s club teammates Ferran Torres and Iñigo Martínez joining top scorer Alvaro Morata on the bench. His decision proved correct as Cyprus failed to pose meaningful threats against the second-string away side, and his side earned their ticket to Germany next year.

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Lamine Yamal Is Playing Up to His Potential

Dubbed the best La Masia graduate since Lionel Messi, Lamine Yamal is playing at a level that belies his tender age, as he has already scored once and provided three assists for the Catalan giants this season. Internationally, he became the country’s youngest international and goals corer aged 16 years and 57 days, eclipsing Ansu Fati’s record when he made his debut away to Georgia.

In their match today, Lamine Yamal showed off with qualities once more by scoring the first of Spain’s three within just 5 minutes as he showed composure beyond his age when he pounced on a rebound, beat both the goalkeeper and the last defender, and scored coolly past the legs of a flailing second defender. When asked about his strike, Yamal replied: “I saw the goalkeeper facing me, and I cut back until I was alone. Delighted to help the team and for the beautiful goal.” 

Spain quickly added a second in the 22nd minute through Real Sociedad captain Mikel Oyarzabal when he struck a tidy finish under the goalkeeper’s legs in the 22nd minute. Despite a long VAR check, the goal stood, and the winger wasted no time in tripling their lead as he turned provider to Real Madrid forward Joselu with a deep swinging corner with the striker unmarked at the back post. While Cyrpus did get a consolation in the second half, it proved little as they finished their qualifiers with eight losses out of eight.

Despite the easy and expected victory, reporters would always find some things to criticise as they asked Luis de la Fuente why Spain took their pedals off the gas and did not replicate their 6-0 reverse fixture victory. In response, he replied: “To play football is very difficult, and it’s difficult to win comfortably, scoring a lot of goals.”

Robert Lewandoski Addresses Handshake Incident with Lamine Yamal

Prior to the international break, there were rumours speculating a rift between Robert Lewandoski and Lamine Yamal as the former seemed to snub the latter’s handshake. For context, a video circulated throughout social media depicting the situation after Yamal went for the goal alone instead of squaring to the Polish striker, who was in a better position in Barcelona’s win against Deportivo Alavés.

However, the Polish captain immediately squashed the rumour in his press conference with the Polish national team as he stated: “Honestly, there is no comment on it because it was just an incident. It is normal to say or shout something on the pitch. The entire situation is an incident out of context and has no meaning. It happens.”

Lewandoski continued and said that he and Lamine Yamal had worked things out in the locker room and were surprised by how the media reacted to their situation. “About my relationship with him, I have helped him several times and given him advice, even in this game.” Therefore, we can conclude that the snub was just in the heat of the moment, as both players wanted to step up and win the game for Barca.

Spain Needs to Be Careful to Secure Top Spot in Group A

Although Spain has already secured their passage to Euro 2024, it is best for them to remain vigilant with the prospect of obtaining a top-seed position for the summer tournament. With Scotland drawing against Georgia, Spain just needs to avoid defeat in their final Euro qualifying match against Georgia to secure the top spot, as they are two points ahead of Scotland with a massive goal difference advantage.

Why is it so crucial for Spain to secure a top-seed position? It is mainly due to La Roja’s recent international tournament history as there have been subpar from their success during the golden generation. Therefore, avoiding a matchup with France, Belgium, and Portugal early on could allow them to build confidence before inevitably facing them in the latter stage for the title.

To catch all the results of the Euro Qualifiers, head to AsiaSport for the latest news and high-definition highlights of your favourite countries in action.

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