One of Spain's national team’s key game features is pressing high with sustained intensity. Then, if the possession is regained the same intensity is immediately transferred to the new attacking action.
That's how they started the game last night and I had my own reasons to believe that their strategy may not work under the circumstances. When after some 20 minutes into the game, Andres Iniesta was just walking - while his team was defending - it was clear that I was correct in my prediction.
It is impossible for any team that plays at altitude without being adapted to such condition to sustain the heavy task of pressing high with intensity for the whole game. Consequently, Spain switched to 'ECONOMICAL' pace mode and their game became ordinary.
It's obvious that Spain's usual game concept cannot be successful without pressing high with intensity and they've learned that the hard way. When in the second half the effects of altitude began to impair their tactical judgments, more individual errors cancelled their chances to score and fortunately they did not concede more goals.
Bafana Bafana took a decisive advantage of Spain's problem and won an important match. Surely, there are other interesting aspects but more next time.
By Ted Dumitru