England were left stunned by Spain’s late show as Isco’s goal with the last kick of the game salvaged La Roja a 2-2 draw on Tuesday.
The glamour friendly at Wembley gave Pepe Reina, Inigo Martinez and Juan Mata rare chances to impress for Spain, while Aritz Aduriz was rewarded for becoming La Roja’s oldest-ever goalscorer with the responsibility of leading their line.
Unlike the two teams’ last meeting a year ago, which ended in a 2-0 win for La Roja, the Three Lions were the pace-setters, particularly catching the eye with their synchronised pressing.
Indeed, Reina was fortunate to escape a red card for a clear foul on Jamie Vardy as he slid through the Leicester City striker one-on-one from a square pass. It was then left to Adam Lallana to beat the goalkeeper from the spot.
Spain’s best chance, meanwhile, came from Vitolo, who set himself up for a shot at Hart, peeling in from the right, but he dragged his finish wide.
A huge blow for England then saw Lallana forced off with an apparent knock. His place was taken by Theo Walcott, who failed to emulate his teammate’s impact.
Vardy suddenly squandered a gilt-edged opportunity for 2-0 as Raheem Sterling got away from Dani Carvajal and drilled a brilliant ball across the face of Reina’s goal, which beat the goalkeeper – and the goalkeeper by a whisker.
Spain certainly improved as the half wore thin, yet their play was all style but no substance, with ball retention as impressive as ever but nothing of any note created in the final third.
That trend continued into the second half as Vardy met a cross from the right and glanced it past Reina, his goal marked by a mannequin celebration that Cristiano Ronaldo would’ve been proud of.
Fate would have it that the turning point came a matter of seconds later, when Reina made up for conceding the penalty by denying Raheem Sterling one-on-one.
From there, La Roja finally began to move the ball around quickly as Tom Heaton instinctively put a hand out to block David Silva’s shot in the area! The goalkeeper then gathered subsequent efforts from fellow new faces Koke and Alvaro Morata.
England brought on Marcus Rashford to stem Spain’s growing momentum with his pace in behind, and the Manchester United starlet was played through on goal and rounded Reina, but he couldn’t keep the ball in play.
Vardy was named man of the match for winning the penalty that put the hosts ahead and subsequently scoring their second, but Iago Aspas had other ideas.
The Celta Vigo star, once labelled a Liverpool flop, darted down the right, approached his opponent and curled a finish in off the post for his first international goal.
Spain suddenly had wind in their sails as they pummelled the England defence in five minutes of injury time, a deflection the only difference between Isco's shot going in and heading wide.
Still, Isco would send Spain’s players and fans into raptures with a 96th-minute equaliser, the Real Madrid man able to squeeze a volley past Heaton at his near post.
England 2-2 Spain
Lallana pen 9, Vardy 48 (E) Aspas 89, Isco 90 (S)
England: Hart (Heaton 46); Clyne, Stones, Cahill (Jagielka 46), Rose (Cresswell 79); Dier, Henderson; Lingard, Lallana (Walcott 27), Sterling (Townsend 65); Vardy (Rashford 67)
Spain: Reina; Carvajal, Nacho, Inigo, Azpilicueta; Busquets (Nolito 78), Thiago (Herrera 56), Mata (Aspas 46); Vitolo (Koke 46), Aduriz (Morata 64), Silva (Isco 64)