Luis Enrique admits mistake over Aspas call-up

The Spain squad all huddle after training ahead of their game with Croatia on Tuesday
The Spain squad all huddle after training ahead of their game with Croatia on Tuesday
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13 September, 2018

The 2018 World Cup runners-up continued to pile the pressure on Spain inside the first quarter of an hour, but were yet to get clear goal scoring opportunities.

Croatia's Ivan Santini was guilty of missing early on but once Spain pulled ahead, the visitors crumbled.

Luis Enrique's charges got their campaign underway over the weekend with a 2-1 win over England at Wembley Stadium.

Saul Niguez headed Spain in front before Asensio fired in two spectacular strikes, although the second was credited as an own goal from Lovre Kalinic.

Ramos's Real Madrid teammate Isco made it six with still 20 minutes for Croatia to endure, when he turned away from Domagoj Vida on the penalty spot and rifled a shot past the helpless Kalinic, with Asensio again the provider.

In the World Cup final, Vicente del Bosque put out six Barcelona players (Puyol, Pique, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta and Pedro) along with Villa who had just signed from Valencia.

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Asensio, who was not among the starters against England, also set up Rodrigo's goal early in the second half with a flawless through ball behind the defence. "We've played two teams that went very far in the World Cup and these victories are very important to reach the final phase, which is a challenge we have set ourselves", added Asensio.

Belgium earned a comfortable win over Iceland thanks to a pair of goals by Romelu Lukaku and one from Eden Hazard.

Spain manager Luis Enrique has rubbished suggestions that only one Barcelona player started in their UEFA Nations League match against Croatia exclusively because of hard feelings towards his former employers.

Marco Asensio doubled the lead for the hosts in the 33rd minute with a 25-yard rocket that screamed into the top corner after some sloppiness at the back from Croatia, 2-0.

In contrast the Belgians poured forward, with Thomas Meunier hitting the foot of the post midway through the second half, and Lukaku blazing a late shot over the bar before steering the ball past Halldorsson to complete the rout.


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