Wed | Jul 17, 2019

Spain edge Tunisia 1-0 with late goal

Published:Sunday | June 10, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Peru's Luis Advincula (left) and Sweden's Marcus Rohden fight for the ball during a friendly match in Gothenburg, Sweden, yesterday.
Spain's Isco (right) battles for the ball with Tunisia's Dylan Bronn during a friendly match in Krasnodar, Russia, yesterday.
France's Paul Pogba (left) battles for the ball with American Tyler Adams during a friendly match in Lyon, France, yesterday. The game ended 1-1.


Spain needed substitute Iago Aspas to score a late goal to beat Tunisia 1-0 in their final warm-up for the World Cup yesterday.

Sergio Busquets finally undid Tunisia's defence with a long pass, and Diego Costa set up Aspas to rifle in a low strike.

Spain remained undefeated through 20 matches under coach Julen Lopetegui.

They start the World Cup with a highly anticipated clash against neighbours Portugal on Friday.

Tunisia, who open against England in nine days, frustrated the 2010 world champions with disciplined defending until Busquets spotted Costa's run behind the backline.

Aspas, who was Spain's sixth and final substitution in the 76th, scored the winner with six minutes remaining.

Spain will also play Iran and Morocco in Group B, while Tunisia will also face Belgium and Panama in Group G.

Alvaro Odriozola, who started for Spain at right back for the injured Dani Carvajal, misjudged a pass by Thiago Alcantara in the 13th minute to gift Tunisia their best opportunity. Ferjani Sassi, however, shot weakly into the arms of David de Gea.

The African side went close again after attacking again down Odriozola's side after robbing the ball from Busquets, only for Naim Sliti to fail to make contact with a cross with only de Gea to beat.

Lopetegui made three changes at halftime, sending on Jorge 'Koke' ResurrecciÛn and Lucas Vazquez for Thiago and Francisco 'Isco' AlarcÛn, and Nacho Fern·ndez for Odriozola.

Moments after Silva volleyed a shot from a tight angle past the post, the midfielder was replaced by Marco Asensio, while Costa substituted Rodrigo Moreno with half an hour remaining.

With Spain not improving, Lopetegui sent on striker Aspas for Jordi Alba and switched to a three-man defence.

Other results: Hungary 1 Australia 2; Estonia 1 Morocco 3; Serbia 5 Bolivia 1; Sweden 0 Peru 0; Denmark 2 Mexico 0; France 1 USA 1.