Soccer-Spain Frustrated By Greece In Opening Draw

Soccer-Spain Frustrated By Greece In Opening Draw

GRANADA, Spain: Spain struggled to create clear-cut chances as they were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw by Greece on Thursday in a disappointing start to their World Cup qualifying campaign.

The hosts had 78% of possession throughout the Group B match, but rarely tested Odisseas Vlachodimos in the Greek goal, with their final ball uncharacteristically wayward.

Things had started positively for Spain, with Dani Olmo threatening in the opening stages. The Leipzig forward headed over when well placed before rattling the crossbar from distance.

The 2010 World Cup winners opened the scoring after 32 minutes. Alvaro Morata latched on to a lofted Koke through ball to fire in from close range and put them firmly in charge of the game.

However, shortly before the hour mark, substitute Inigo Martinez – on for captain Sergio Ramos – was penalised for a rash tackle on Greek midfielder Giorgos Masouras inside the box.

Anastasios Bakasetas smashed the ball in from the spot to level the scores and stun Luis Enrique’s side.

Morata spurned Spain’s best opportunity for a winner as he headed straight at the goalkeeper.

Spain travel to Georgia in their second qualifier on Sunday, the same day Greece host Honduras in a friendly.