Las Palmas, Nov 19 (IANS) The Spanish national football team played its last match of 2018 with a 1-0 friendly win over Bosnia Herzegovina in the Gran Canaria Stadium here.
A goal by Brais Mendez, one of the three players making their debut with the Spanish squad, helped Spain clinch the victory, reports Efe news.
A nice play by Fornals and Gaya ended with Isco Alarcon taking a shot that was fended off by the Bosnian goaltender, but the Celta de Vigo striker swooped in to capture the loose ball and hit the twine for the win in the 78th minute.
The Spaniards went into the game just a few hours after learning of England’s 2-1 victory over Croatia in the Nations League competition, a situation that prevented Spain from automatically qualifying for the final phase of that tourney unless they could defeat the Bosnians.
Luis Enrique, as he had said he would on Saturday, gave many of his players with little experience a chance, including Espanyol center Mario Hermoso, and – with Sergio Ramos on the injured list – Diego Llorente was paired up with Hermoso, and they were flanked by Jonny and Gaya on the sides.
The Bosnians were until now undefeated since Robert Prosinecki took over the squad and came out fighting right from the start, although Spain quickly woke up and began to mount attacks leading to a number of not-quite-on-target shots on goal.
The game percolated on, with both sides putting together some good plays but not managing to get on the scoreboard until Mendez, who had been on the pitch for the past 20 minutes, took advantage of the Bosnian goalie’s rejection of Isco’s shot.