Romania Coach Cosmin Contra believes his side showed too much respect to Spain in their Euro 2020 qualifier defeat, and played better after going two goals down.
A Sergio Ramos penalty and a goal from Paco Alcacer gave La Roja three points in Group F but a late reply from Florin Andone and Diego Llorente’s red card ensured Spain had to work for the victory.
“We knew how to stop Spain, and in some stretches we were able to overcome them,” former Getafe player and boss Contra said post-match, according to AS.
“We started to play better with two goals against us, because we started with too much respect for Spain. I asked the players to play like they did at the end. We were facing Spain and that’s not easy. But aside from England, no team has made Spain suffer so much.”
Asked why his side picked up markedly after the half time break, Contra explained he was seeking a reaction from his players, and noted what he saw as the crucial difference between the teams.
“After the first half most people would have made changes, but we had to be patient,” he insisted.
“The team reacted well in the second half, attacked with intent and speed and we caused trouble for Spain. A draw wouldn’t have been undeserved for us.
“We had four very clear counter-attacks, but we chose badly in the end. That’s the opposite of Spain, who always make good choices in the opposition penalty area. That was the biggest difference.”