Spain’s late brace earns draw against England

Spain scored twice in the closing moments to snatch a draw in the Wembley friendly.

England had taken control early through Adam Lallana’s early penalty, awarded when Spain keeper Pepe Reina hauled down Jamie Vardy just after eight minutes.

The Leicester City striker then followed up with a fine diving header from Jordan Henderson’s cross just after the break, giving England a solid lead

However, former Liverpool striker Iago Aspas’ superb curling finish in the 90th minute lit up Spanish hopes – and England allowed them to complete the comeback as Isco smuggled home a far-post finish between England substitute keeper Tom Heaton’s legs in the fifth and final minute of injury time.

Spain’s list of injured included, among others, Diego Costa, Andrés Iniesta, Gerard Piqué and Sergio Ramos. Additionally, their No.1 David de Gea had been given the night off, and despite missing what amounts to the spine of their team Spain somehow made it work.

In fact, La Roja’s comeback was so late large parts of the crowd had already headed into the night, satisfied with what they had seen and unaware of the drama that was to follow.

The match would also end Gareth Southgate’s four-game tenure as England manager on a less than pleasing note. It was not the finish he would have expected – or wanted – after Spain’s late show, even as he asserts that he could handle the “big occasions”.

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