(MENAFN) During the European Championship 2024 qualifiers, Barcelona star Pablo Javi endured a significant knee injury in the match between Spain and Georgia, concluding the first group competitions. Javi, visibly distraught, was forced to leave the field, casting a shadow over Spain's victory and deeply affecting the national team coach, Luis Dela Fuente.
Expressing his distress at a press conference, Dela Fuente described it as a challenging moment for Javi, Barcelona, the national team, and himself, stating, "It seems as if we lost the match." He conveyed profound sadness, emphasizing the unpredictability and harsh realities of football. The coach expressed that despite the victory, the injury left a bitter taste, unlike any other experience in his coaching career.
Spain initiated the scoring within four minutes of the game, courtesy of a free kick from Torres that found Robin Le Normand, who scored his maiden international goal with a header. However, Georgia swiftly equalized through a counterattack, with Napoli striker Hvicha Kvaratskhelia netting a low shot from the penalty area edge.
The match took a somber turn for Spain as Barcelona's Javi left the field in tears due to a knee injury sustained during contact with an opposing player. Luis Dela Fuente lamented the blow, acknowledging the impact on the team's celebration and expressing his sadness at witnessing Javi's emotional departure.
Despite the setback, Spain managed to regain the lead in the second half. Torres secured the advantage with a header after a cross from Jose Luis Gaya. The team's dominance continued, and a Georgian own goal in the 72nd minute, resulting from a cross by substitute Al-Amin Jamal, sealed the victory for Spain at 3-1.
Reflecting on the match, Le Normand acknowledged the difficulty in celebrating as desired due to Javi's injury. Torres echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing the mixed feelings stemming from the significant win and the uncertainty surrounding Javi's injury. The team remains hopeful, considering Javi's resilient nature and determination to overcome potential challenges.
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