Spain beat Georgia 4-1 to set up a quarter-final date with Germany


Spain recovered from a goal down to beat Georgia 4-1 for a spot in the Euro 2024 quarterfinals, ending one of the tournament’s most compelling underdog stories.

Goals from midfielders Rodri and Fabin Ruiz brought Spain back into the game after Robin Le Normand’s early own-goal had given Georgia a shock lead. That was the first time Spain had conceded in the tournament.

Nico Williams took the game out of Georgia’s reach by scoring on the counter in the 75th and Dani Olmo added a fourth goal in driving rain eight minutes later.

Spain will play host nation Germany in the quarterfinals on Friday in Stuttgart.

Euro 2024 Soccer Spain Georgia Dani Olmo celebrates scoring goal round sixteen Cologne GermanyLAPRESSE

The loss ends Georgia’s first ever major tournament campaign, which included a 2-0 upset win over Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal.

Despite the lopsided score, Georgia goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili had another standout game with nine saves to prevent a rout.

Spain had beaten Georgia 7-1 in qualifying last year, but this game was a close contest until the last 20 minutes and testament to Georgia’s rapid improvement under coach Willy Sagnol.

Playing its fourth game of Euro 2024, Spain had yet to concede a goal all tournament.

That soon changed when Otar Kakabadze surged down the right flank for Georgia and crossed low. Le Normand chested the ball past his own goalkeeper, with the defender apparently distracted by Khvicha Kvaratskhelia arriving behind him to meet the cross.

Euro 2024 Soccer Spain Georgia Spain's Dani Olmo, right, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's 4th goal against during a round of sixteen match at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany,

Euro 2024 Soccer Spain Georgia Spain’s Dani Olmo, right, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side’s 4th goal against during a round of sixteen match at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Cologne, Germany,LAPRESSE

Spain took its time to get back into the game, but Rodri — back from a one-game suspension — leveled the score in the 39th with a low shot from just outside the box.

Georgia remained a threat on the counter, including with an audacious shot from the halfway line by Kvaratskhelia, but Spain midfielder Fabian Ruiz made it 2-1 in the 51st when he rose unmarked to meet a cross from the 16-year-old Lamine Yamal.

Needing a goal, Georgia had to open up its compact defensive formation and conceded twice more as Nico Williams scored in the 75th and substitute Olmo eight minutes later.

After the final whistle, Georgia’s players gathered in front of their fans for a slow-clap chant reminiscent of another European Championship underdog – Iceland – when it beat England in 2016.





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