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Kosovo v Spain Live Commentary, 08/09/2021

0 - 2
Pablo Fornals (32)
Ferran Torres (88)
Stadiumi Fadil Vokrri


That's all from us today folks, we hope you enjoyed the game!
This win sees Spain stay top of Group B on 13 points, four ahead of Sweden, who suffered a defeat against Greece. Meanwhile Kosovo drop to fourth, with just four points on the board.
Spain clinch a vital 2-0 victory over Kosovo, thanks to a first-half strike from Fornals, before Torres wrapped things up late on. Kosovo should have scored at the other end after having a number of chances to beat Simon, with Bytyqi and Muriqi going very close, but they couldn't find the breakthrough. It looked like it would finish 1-0, but Torres doubled Spain's lead in the closing stages, a goal which was awarded after VAR stepped in as it was originally ruled out for offside.
90' + 1' What a finish we've had here, it looked like Kosovo may go on and grab an equaliser, but a late Torres goal seems to have wrapped up all three points.
90' There will be a minimum of three minutes added time played at the end of the second half.
Mikel Merino
88' Torres is now playing in a central role up front for Spain and Merino spotted his run in behind, with the Manchester City man showing his quality to beat Muric and fire Spain 2-0 ahead.
Ferran Torres
88' GOAL! Torres doubles Spain's lead late on and makes it 2-0! Merino plays the ball through to Torres, who sneaks in behind and he races through on goal, before getting to the edge of the penalty area and firing it past Muric. The goal was originally ruled out for offside, but VAR took a long hard look at the decision and overruled it. Vojvoda is keeping Torres on and VAR has spotted this and correctly allowed the goal to stand.
86' The other substitution sees Reguilon replaced by Raul Albiol.
Mikel Merino
Marcos Llorente
86' Another double change by Spain, with Llorente one of those coming off and he has been replaced by Merino.
84' Kosovo have scored at least once in their last seven international games, so you wouldn't put it past them to nick a late goal here.
82' We're into the final 10 minutes of the game now and Kosovo are pushing numbers forward in search of an equaliser. Can Spain hold on to take all three points?
80' SAVE! Great move by Kosovo in the final third, with Bytyqi receiving the ball just inside the penalty area from Rashica and Bytyqi only had Simon to beat. The winger tries to find the bottom left corner of the net and catch Simon out at his near post, but the keeper does brilliantly to get down quickly and push the effort around the post.
78' CHANCE! Traore does brilliantly to dig out a cross from the right and it finds Torres, who powers a header towards goal, but Muric gets up to tip it over the crossbar and behind for a corner.
77' Spain don't look comfortable with just a 1-0 lead, they need to try and double the scoreline if they can to give themselves some breathing space as Kosovo are still causing problems at the other end.
75' Some good news coming in from the other game being played in Group B, which is that Sweden are losing against Greece, just what Spain wanted to hear.
73' Close! Rashani gets on the end of a cross from the left wing by Bytyqi and he tries to glance it into the far corner of the net, but it flies just wide, with no-one able to help it on at the far post.
72' Wide! Torres fires a low free-kick towards goal, getting it underneath the wall, but it doesn't come close to testing Muric as it flies wide of the post.
Pablo Sarabia
Álvaro Morata
72' Another Spain substitution now just before a free-kick, with Morata replaced by Sarabia.
71' Free-kick to Spain in a good shooting position after Rashina fouls Reguilon around 25 yards out and it looks like either Reguilon or Torres are going to step up to take it.
69' Kosovo are struggling to get a touch on the ball at the moment, with Spain dominating and the hosts are having to get everyone back to prevent a second goal.
67' Spain, after going on an unbeaten run of 13 games, have lost two of their last three matches. These came against Italy in Euro 2020 and Sweden last week.
65' As it stands Spain will remain top of Group B on 13 points, with Sweden three points behind them as they are currently being held by Greece. Meanwhile Kosovo would drop to fourth.
63' We're past the hour mark and it remains Spain who head 1-0 and they haven't shown any signs of doubling their lead just yet, with Kosovo going the closest in the second half so far.
61' It will be interesting to see how Spain are going to line-up now, with Azpilicueta coming on. It looks like he may take the right-back position, with Llorente moving into midfield.
Adama Traoré
Pablo Fornals
59' The other change sees Fornals head off and he has been replaced by Traore.
Carlos Soler
58' Double Spain substitution now, with Soler the first to come off and he has been replaced by Azpilicueta.
57' Another mistake at the back! Martinez with a poor ball out from the back and it is picked up by Loshaj, who tries to lob Simon from distance, but luckily the keeper gets back in time to make the catch.
55' Spain really need to tighten up their defence, they look complacent at the back and they are lucky that Kosovo haven't yet capitalised on their mistakes.
53' CHANCE! Huge opportunity for Kosovo but Muriqi somehow misses the target! Muriqi races in behind the Spain defence after more sloppy defending by the visitors and the striker only has Simon to beat. However, he fires the ball into the side netting! That was their best opportunity of the game so far.
50' After a run of six losses in nine games, Kosovo have faced defeat just once in their previous six matches, winning four of those (D1).
49' Almost! Laporte gets on the wrong side of Rashica as he races in behind once again and Laporte and Simon seem to get their actions mixed up and it almost allows Rashica to get through on goal. Another warning for Spain.
47' Torres does brilliantly down the right wing, skipping past a couple of Kosovo defenders before being blocked in the box and the hosts clear the danger.
46' The second half is under way!
Spain are once again dominating possession in these opening stages of the second half, but nothing in the final third and they haven't yet tested Muric in goal.
Kosovo have shown that they can test the visitors, so they will be hopeful of getting an equaliser in the second half, especially if they can break quickly on the counter. Meanwhile Spain will be eager to get a second as soon as they can to give themselves some breathing space.
Spain lead 1-0 at the break, thanks to a lovely strike by Fornals after 32 minutes, his first goal for his country. They've had to work hard for the lead as Kosovo played well in the early stages and caught Spain out a few times at the back, with Rashica and Muriqi getting in behind, before Rashani went close with a strike from the edge of the box. However, good link up play in the final third by Spain saw Fornals get into space in the box and he rolled his defender, before firing the ball into the back of the net.
45' Save! The ball falls nicely to Rashica on the edge of the box and the striker takes the shot on the volley, but it is straight at Simon and lacks pace, so the keeper comfortably gathers.
43' Not too far away! Morata manages to get on the end of a corner from Soler and powers a header towards goal, but it flies just wide of the post.
42' Decent effort! Soler fires a powerful effort towards goal and he manages to get it on target, but it's too close to Muric, who tips it over the crossbar.
41' There isn’t long left to play before the end of the first half, can Spain double their lead before the half-time whistle?
39' The other game being played in Group B today is between Greece and Sweden and that is currently goalless, which is great for Spain, as it gives them some breathing space over Sweden.
37' Rrahmani tries to find Bytyqi deep down the left flank, after the winger sneaked behind Llorente, but the flag goes up for offside and play is halted. That looked like a very tight call.
35' Not too far away! Morata picks up the ball on the edge of the box and smashes an effort towards goal, but he gets slightly too much on it and the effort flies just over the crossbar.
34' It's all Spain now, they are pushing forward in search of another goal to double their lead before the break and Kosovo no longer seem likely to break forward on the counter.
Álvaro Morata
32' Morata hasn't been involved much so far, but he showed great vision to flick the ball to Fornals for the goal, but his team-mate did the rest with a superb finish.
Pablo Fornals
32' GOAL! Fornals scores his first goal for Spain and he sends them ahead, it’s 1-0! Laporte finds Soler with a quick pass, who turns it to Morata and the striker then flicks it into the path of Fornals in the box, who rolls past his man and fires the ball into the bottom left corner of the net. Excellent move and a lovely finish by the West Ham man.
31' We’re past the half an hour mark now and it remains goalless between Kosovo and Spain, with the hosts having the better chances so far, but Spain are starting to pile on the pressure.
29' Wasted opportunity! Koke whips a free-kick into the box from a decent position and he should be picking out a team-mate, but instead it is too close to the keeper and Muric comes out and easily gathers in the air.
28' Free-kick to Spain in a good position now after Morata is fouled by Fazliji around 25 yards out and it looks like Koke is going to step up to take it.
26' Good counter! Kosovo break quickly up the pitch following a Spain free-kick, with Muric launching a long throw to Rashica, who races into the Spain half of the pitch and tries to find a team-mate deep inside the box. However, Fornals tracks back superbly and makes the block.
25' Spain are starting to keep the ball a lot better in the middle of the pitch, with the midfield three of Koke, Busquets and Soler controlling the game. Kosovo are starting to sit a bit deeper to soak up the pressure.
23' Spain have not kept a clean sheet outside of their home country since October 2020, when they drew 0-0 with Portugal.
21' Despite being top of Group B, Spain aren't in control as they have already played five games, meanwhile Sweden have only played three and have won all of them, so Spain need Sweden to drop points in order to finish top.
19' The home supporters are definitely enjoying this performance from their side, cheering every tackle and good piece of play in midfield. Cracking atmosphere so far.
17' Spain are trying to build some momentum and get on the front foot, but they just can't get the ball into the final third to try and test the Kosovo defence.
15' CLOSE! Rashani cuts in from the right wing, gets it onto his left foot and fires a low strike towards goal, trying to find the bottom left corner of the net. However, it flies just inches wide of the post, with Simon scrambling across to try and meet it. Not too far away!
13' Kosovo look pretty comfortable at the moment, they are seeing a lot of the ball themselves and are forcing Spain to sit back and soak up the pressure. Good start by the hosts.
11' Spain need to make some changes at the back to stop these Kosovo breaks, as the hosts look like causing problems every time they go on the counter-attack.
9' ANOTHER CHANCE! Kosovo are really opening Spain up at the back on the counter and Rashica races in behind once again! This time the striker gets into the box and tries to round Simon, but the keeper reads it superbly and makes a great save to his left to pounce on the ball and prevent the goal. However, this time the offside flag goes up, so it wouldn't have counted anyway.
8' CHANCE! Another warning for Spain as Rashica races in behind the visitors defence and once again gets away from the two centre-backs. The striker sprints forward and only has Simon to beat, however, his touch is too heavy and it allows Simon to come to the edge of the box and clear the danger.
7' Spain are enjoying the early possession here as you would expect, keeping it well in midfield, but the hosts are pressing them high up the pitch and not allowing them much time or space.
5' Almost! Loshaj plays a lovely ball in behind the Spain defence, with Muriqi sneaking past Laporte and he races into the box, before trying to square it back to a team-mate in the middle. However, Spain get players back and clear the danger.
3' Torres does well down the right wing, taking on a couple of defenders and almost getting to the byline, before trying to drill a cross into the middle. However, it is well cut out and Spain win their first corner of the game, which comes to nothing.
1' We're under way!
The teams are out on the pitch and kick-off is just a few minutes away, stay tuned for all the match action!
Meanwhile Kosovo have made four changes to their starting line-up, from the side that drew with Greece, as Aliti, Halimi, Berisha and Kastrati all drop out of the team and they have been replaced by Fazliji, Rashani, Loshaj and Bytyqi.
Spain have made seven changes to their team, with only Simon, Laporte, Llorente and Torres keeping their places in the starting line-up. Morata and Fornals come into the team up front, alongside Torres in attack.
KOSOVO SUBS: Fidan Aliti, Samir Ujkani, Astrit Seljmani, Muharrem Jashari, Florent Muslija, Mirlind Kryeziu, Armend Thaci, Valon Berisha, Lirim Kastrati, David Domgjoni.
KOSOVO (4-2-2): Arijanet Muric; Florent Hadergjonaj, Amir Rrahmani, Betim Fazliji, Mergim Vojvoda; Elbasan Rashani, Ibrahim Dresevic, Florian Loshaj, Zymer Bytyqi; Vedat Muriqi, Milot Rashica.
SPAIN SUBS: David de Gea, Mikel Merino, Eric Garcia, Rodrigo, Jordi Alba, Abel Ruiz, Pablo Sarabia, Adama Traore, Raul Albiol, Robert Sanchez, Cesar Azpilicueta, Brais Mendez.
SPAIN (4-3-3): Unai Simon; Marcos Llorente, Aymeric Laporte, Inigo Martinez, Sergio Reguilon; Koke, Sergio Busquets, Carlos Soler; Ferran Torres, Alvaro Morata, Pablo Fornals.
Meanwhile Kosovo are third on four points and they were beaten 1-0 by Georgia last week, before picking up a point against Greece on Sunday.
Spain bounced back from a 2-1 defeat against Sweden on Thursday with a 4-0 victory over Georgia at the weekend, which sees them top Group B with 10 points.
Hello and welcome to our LIVE match commentary of the World Cup qualifying game between Kosovo and Spain.