Spain stumble in Swiss stalemate

Spain stumbled in their first warm-up friendly for the World Cup as they were held to a 1-1 draw with Switzerland on Sunday.

See how the match unfolded in Villarreal with our liveblog!

Alvaro Odriozola opened his international account with a golazo to give La Roja the lead at half-time, but Ricardo Rodriguez took advantage of a David de Gea misjudgment for a share of the spoils.

Iago Aspas and Diego Costa both started up top for Spain as they looked to impress Julen Lopetegui before their World Cup opener against Portugal on June 15.

Elsewhere, no Real Madrid players featured due to their recent involvement in the Champions League Final, so Odriozola and Cesar Azpilicueta lined up in a makeshift defence, while Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets was out with a stomach bug.

These two nations will compete in the World Cup later this month and last met in South Africa eight years ago, when Switzerland ran out 1-0 winners in the group stage.

Spain started well enough with Thiago Alcantara’s long-range drive, which Yann Sommer tipped around the post, and David Silva’s rasping strike veering just across the goalkeeper.

At the other end, Blerim Dzemaili’s acrobatic effort on the half-volley landed on the roof of De Gea’s net, but that was nothing compared to Odriozola’s first-time volley from just outside the box, which flew past Sommer.

Andres Iniesta was among the exits in the second half, the former Barcelona midfielder having needed treatment for a knock to his shin, and La Roja lost whatever spark they had from that point onwards.

Indeed, Stephan Lichtsteiner’s curler was pushed away by De Gea but only as far as Rodriguez, the Switzerland left-back with Spanish parents, who mopped up the rebound.

The multitude of substitutions inevitably killed the flow of the game, although Lucas Vazquez did play a deft back-heel to fellow substitute Rodrigo. However, the striker’s close-range finish was turned over by Sommer.

Thiago then threw himself on to a cross at the near post, but his diving header went agonisingly wide, before Nacho Fernandez bent a delightful shot towards Sommer’s top-right corner, which skimmed the woodwork.

Spain 1-1 Switzerland

Odriozola 29 (SP) Ricardo Rodriguez 62 (SW)

Spain: De Gea; Odriozola (Nacho 70), Pique, Azpilicueta, Alba (Monreal 78); Silva (Asensio 60), Koke, Thiago, Iniesta (Saul 55); Aspas (Vazquez 46), Costa (Rodrigo 60)

Switzerland: Sommer; Lichtsteiner (Lang 63), Schar (Djourou 46), Akanji, Ricardo Rodriguez (Moubandji 78); Behrami (Fernandes 63), Zakaria; Shaqiri, Dzemaili (Embolo 46), Zuber; Seferovic (Drmic 46)

Referee: Kovacs (HUN)

Tags Diego Costa Spain Switzerland
La Liga - Club News