NEWS
Thursday November 15 2018
Croatia stun Spain with late winner

Spain's place in the Nations League Final Four was left hanging in the balance as they fell to a dramatic 3-2 defeat in Croatia on Thursday.

See how the action unfolded in Zagreb with our liveblog!

Spain looked to have done enough for a point, which would have surely sent them through as Group 4 winners, but Tin Jedvaj's goal in the third minute of injury time meant Croatia or England would overtake them with victory in their match on Sunday.

Jordi Alba had been absent from Luis Enrique’s first two Spain squads, but he started for the first time under the former Barcelona boss. Joining him from Barca was teammate Sergi Roberto, who replaced Jonny Castro on the opposite side.

Elsewhere, Athletic Bilbao’s Inigo Martinez partnered Sergio Ramos in central defence, Dani Ceballos came in for the injured Thiago Alcantara through the middle and Isco completed a trident attack with Iago Aspas and Rodrigo Moreno.

La Roja would qualify for the Final Four of the Nations League with a win in Zagreb, and they had already thrashed Croatia 6-0 this season.

A cagey first half saw Ivan Perisic clip David de Gea’s near post with a close-range shot and Lovre Kalinic tip over a powerful Isco strike just before the break.

However, what came after it was an explosive end-to-end affair as a mix-up between Sergio Ramos and Sergi Roberto gifted Andrej Kramaric the opening goal.

Just a couple of minutes later, Iago Aspas’ through ball found Isco, who cut back for Real Madrid teammate Ceballos to stroke past Kalinic.

Aspas then hit the bar from a rebound, before Spain carelessly left Jedvaj unmarked at the back post as he headed home a corner.

De Gea then looked to have kept Spain in it by somehow getting a hand to Ante Rebic’s one-on-one finish, before Sime Vrsajlko handballed twice to let Ramos send Kalinic the wrong way from the penalty spot.

That seemed to be that, until De Gea spilled a shot in front of Jedvaj, who wasn’t picked up a second time and subsequently took full advantage from a yard out.

Croatia 3-2 Spain

Kramaric 54, Jedvaj 69, 90 (C) Ceballos 56, Ramos pen 78 (S)

Croatia: L Kalinic; Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Jedvaj; Rakitic (Vlasic 68), Brozovic; Rebic (Brekalo 74), Modric, Perisic; Kramaric (Pjaca 89)

Spain: De Gea; Sergi Roberto, Ramos, Inigo, Alba; Saul (Suso 74), Busquets, Ceballos; Rodrigo (Asensio 61), Isco; Aspas (Morata 64)

Referee: Kulbakov (BEL)

Football Italia website