Aspas spares Spain blushes

Spain wrapped up their preparations for the World Cup with a hard-fought 1-0 win against Tunisia on Saturday.

See how the friendly unfolded in Krasnodar with our liveblog!

Spain's lack of cutting edge throughout the match prevented them from turning their dominance into goals, although substitute Iago Aspas was on hand to spare them with his fifth international finish.

Sergio Ramos and Sergio Busquets returned for La Roja, but no chances were taken over Dani Carvajal, who was still recovering from a hamstring problem and remained absent from the matchday squad.

These two nations had only met once previously, when Spain beat Tunisia 3-1 in the group stage of the 2006 World Cup, but the North Africans had also qualified for the 2018 edition, while the friendly took place in the Russian town of Krasnodar.

The video assistant referee (VAR) was also used between the two sides, a year after it helped Spain beat France 2-0.

Fortunately the technology wasn’t needed, but Tunisia were wonderfully organised and kept David de Gea on his toes with a couple of early snapshots.

Indeed, the only chances Spain had in the opening 45 minutes were Rodrigo Moreno’s misplaced header and a Ramos piledriver, which skimmed Aymen Mathlouthi’s bar.

Julen Lopetegui threw on Koke and Lucas Vazquez for the second half in a bid to inject some much-needed pace and drive into Spain’s play, but an onslaught of more substitutions killed the flow of the game.

Nonetheless, two of them combined to bail out La Roja as Diego Costa expertly held the ball up in Tunisia’s box, before teeing up Aspas, who drilled a shot into the back of Mathlouthi’s net.

Tunisia 0-1 Spain

Aspas 84

Tunisia: Mathlouthi; Bronn, S Ben Youssef, Meriah, Maaloul (Haddadi 58); Skhiri, Sassi, Khaoui (Ben Amor 62); Badri (Benalouane 78), Sliti (Khalifa 69), F Ben Youssef (Srarfi 90)

Spain: De Gea; Odriozola (Nacho 46), Pique, Ramos, Alba (Aspas 76); Busquets, Thiago; (Koke 46); Silva (Asensio 60), Isco (Vazquez 46), Iniesta; Rodrigo (CostA 60)

Referee: Nijhuis (NED)

Tags Spain Tunisia