Spain ended their preparations for Euro 2016 with a first defeat in over a year as they were stunned 1-0 at home by Georgia on Tuesday.
Gerard Pique, Cesc Fabregas and Nolito were the only survivors from last week’s 6-1 demolition of South Korea as Lucas Vazquez became the 83rd Real Madrid player to debut for La Roja.
Vicente del Bosque switched to a 4-1-4-1 for the visit of the Georgians, with Sergio Busquets the deep-lying midfielder and Aritz Aduriz the lone striker, but despite having seen plenty of the ball, the European champions struggled to turn their dominance into chances.
Nonetheless, they should’ve had at least two goals to their name before half-time as Vazquez’s deep cross found Gerard Pique at the back post, but his header flew over the bar, albeit by a matter of inches, while Thiago Alcantara bent a shot onto the upright from Cesc Fabregas’ saved effort.
However, their good work was undone when Jordi Alba and Sergio Ramos fell asleep during a Georgian counterattack with only five minutes of the first half remaining, Tornike Okriashvili helping himself to a tap-in from Jambul Jighauri’s low cross down the right.
Del Bosque rang the changes at the break, but only Andres Iniesta came closest out of the quartet who were introduced, the Barcelona midfielder blasting the ball off-target from just outside the box.
There were also concerns over Sergio Busquets, who stayed down in a daze after a clash with Georgia goalkeeper Nukri Revishvili, although he soon eased them, even if the same could not be said for his opponent.
Nolito, who came into the match with four goals in his last two Spain appearances, then tried to the force the issue, first with a low shot that whistled just wide of Roin Kvashvadze’s left-hand post, before the substitute needed a second bite of the cherry to get both hands on the Celta Vigo star’s drive.
Spain began to pile the pressure in the latter stages as seven minutes of injury time were generously permitted, but Georgia did their best to disrupt La Roja’s rhythm by exploiting any hint of a stoppage in play, while neither Jordi Alba from point-blank range nor Pique’s second header could deny the visitors a famous victory.
Spain 0-1 Georgia
Spain: De Gea; Juanfran (Bellerin 45), Pique, Ramos (San Jose 46), Alba; Busquets (Pedro 76); Vazquez (Silva 61), Cesc, Thiago, Nolito; Aduriz
Georgia: Revishvili (Kvaskhvadze 55); Lobzhanidze, Kverkvelia, Amisulashvili, Navalovski (Kobakhidze 84); Aburjania (Tsiskaridze 78), Kashla; Jighauri, Okriashvili, Dvalishvili (Chanturia 72); Qazaishvili (Kvilitaia 72)
Referee: Thorarinsson [ISL]