By Amjad Baker
Spain is holding its breath ahead of their only chance of reviving their dream of reaching the Euro 2000 quarterfinals when they meet the outsiders Slovenia on in a Group C match at Amsterdam Arena stadium.
Victory is the only way for the Spaniards to rejuvenate their title bid after their poor start to the championship when they lost 1-0 to Norway. If they don’t win, will likely pack their bags and exit with tearful eyes from the Euro 2000.
The Spaniards who were one day one of the most powerful teams, and were expected by many of the sporting analysts to be one of the finalists, surprised all with their shy limping performance against the Norwegians, which leave them few options but a victory over the Slovenians in tonight's match.
The newcomers, in a crucial performance, led Yugoslavia 3-0 with three splendid nuclear heads. A sudden lack of organization put them on a tie with the Yugoslavians who have switched their engine on for just 6 minutes and rolled three easy balls into Slovenians' net.
However, the bad news for Spain is that were hit again on Friday with a new blow as Celta Vigo right-back Juan Velasco could not train because of an injured right thigh.
Velasco might be expected to replace Michel Salgado, who made a brilliant show early against Norway in a match, which dramatically put his high level technique in the spot light.
Spain coach, Jose Antonio Camacho is expected to adopt some changes in tonight's game against Slovenia since he needs to energized his team to the maximum power needed to guarantee victory.
The indications are that Antonio will replace defender Paco Jemez. Midfielder Fran and Striker Ismael Urzaiz are likely to make way for Abelardo, Gaizka Mendieta and Alfonso Perez respectively.
Both coaches need to inject the knowledge about the crazy soccer world they have gained over the past decades into tonight's match.
NORWAY AND YUGOSLAVIA
Late in the day, Norway will try to snatch its qualifying ticket to Euro 2000 quarterfinals on the expense of Yugoslavia who were stopped in a tough 3-3 draw with Slovenia.
"Members of my team are aware of the fact that our victory over Spain is not good enough to take us into the quarters, so we will put all our efforts to add three more points from our match against the Yugoslavians," said Norway's coach.
Norway will look for a second surprise and thrash Yugoslavia to add three more points. It sounds pretty good for the Norwegians who might find themselves lost in a big maze with the Yugoslavians who will have nothing in their minds but the win needed to refresh their hopes of making it to the quarterfinals -- Albawaba.com
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)