MOTD halftime- France 0-0 Spain

Spain should feel unlucky that they are still tied with France at halftime, with La Roja being denied a clear penalty halfway through the first half.  Surprisingly, France stared the match dominantly, and Mathieu Valbuena shot just over the bar from the edge of the box in the opening seconds of the match.  Seconds later Blaise Matuidi hit a curling shot just over the bar from the edge of the box following a corner, and Spain had a hard time getting real possession.  Spain started to settle into the match, and really should have gone ahead in the sixth minute when Nacho Monreal (the only non-Real Madrid or Barcelona player on the Spain line-up) galloped down the left flank and squad the ball to Xavi in the center of the box.  Xavi looked certain to score, but smashed a shot just over the bar to give France a lucky break.  La Roja started to control the match, and settled into their normal tiki-taka style of play.  Xavi got another chance to score in the fifteenth minute when Xabi Alonso slipped him the ball on the edge of the box, and the Barcelona midfielder turned with the ball and hit a shot that bounced inches wide of the post.

In the thirty-first minute Spain almost opened the scoring when Andreas Iniesta chipped the ball above the France defense to Pedro, and the winger was brought down by an oncoming France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, but amazingly, referee Viktor Kassai did not award a penalty.  Towards the end of the half France started to pressure the Spain goal, but Spain still held the majority of possession.  Les Blues did get one golden chance before the end of the half though and when Mathieu Valbuena hit a inch-perfect lofted ball to Franck Ribery, the forward was put in on goal.  Ribery took the ball into the box and shot the ball through Spain goalkeeper Victor Valdes’s legs, but the ball hit the underside of Valdes’s legs and bounced wide.  Despite putting more pressure on Spain, La Roja did not concede, and the first half ended 0-0.  The second half is sure to be exciting, so look out for my full time review, right here on Football Every Day!


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