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WORLD CUP 2018

Tunisia 0-1 Spain: how it happened, match report

Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas was on target to save Spain's blushes despite an uninspiring performance against a well disciplined Tunisia side.

Update:
Diego Costa & Iago Aspas
Javier EtxezarretaEFE

A most uninspiring performance from Spain against a well drilled Tunisia side was not the preparation Julen Lopetegui would have wanted as the clock ticks down to La Roja's Group B World Cup opener in Sochi next Friday.

A promising opening where Spain displayed their fine ability to move the ball around with zest and purpose will be long forgotten as Tunisia proved that they will be a tough nut for their Group G opponents to crack with a solid defensive display.

Neither goalkeeper was really called into action in a game that failed to really catch fire and the high number of substitutes employed by both coaches did little for the tempo of proceedings on the Krasnodar Arena.

Spain's coach Julen Lopetegui stands during the friendly football match between Spain and Tunisia at Krasnodar's stadium on June 9, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU
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Spain's coach Julen Lopetegui stands during the friendly football match between Spain and Tunisia at Krasnodar's stadium on June 9, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOUPIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOUAFP

Just when it seemed that the scoreline was to remain 0-0, Diego Costa (on for Valencia's Rodrigo) latched onto a long ball and drew the keeper out of position. The ball fell to the Celta striker Aspas who drilled home to at least paper over the cracks as regards the scoreline

Plenty of work ahead for Lopetegui as his Spain side looked tired and predictable. Dress rehearsals against Switzerland and Tunisia are over.... now things get serious.

Spain v Tunisia: as it happened

Spain v Tunisia: preview 

Spain face their final test ahead of their 2018 World Cup campaign tonight in Krasnodar with Tunisia the side set to test Lopetegui's men. 

La Roja impressed in last week's friendly against Switzerland in Villarreal and outclassed the Swiss despite a 1-1 scoreline. Tonight's opponents have been carefully chosen as a 'similar side' to Spain's final Group B opponents Morocco with the Les Aigles de Carthage (Eagles from Carthage) in a tough group themselves featuring England, Belgium and Panama.

Tonight's game will feature VAR technology with Spain coach Julen Lopetegui talking about the system in detail during his pre-match press conference: "There’s no point kicking up a fuss – VAR is being used and it is here to stay. We need to accept it and adapt ourselves to it. Portugal are used to the new system and Spain aren’t" he added.

The coach also confirmed that Real Madrid defender Dani Carvajal is almost certain to be included in his final squad. “We need to support him. He’s going step by step and we’re happy with his recovery. I have no doubts that he’ll be alright, if not for the first game then for the second, but he’ll be ready, of that I’m sure.”

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