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FOOTBALL

Brais Mendez debut goal enough as Spain see off Bosnia

Brais Mendez's goal in the 78th minute was enough to see Spain passed Bosnia in Gran Canaria.

Update:
Spain's midfielder Brais Mendez (2L) celebrates a goal with teammates during the international friendly football match between Spain and Bosnia-Herzegovina at the Gran Canaria stadium in Las Palmas on November 18, 2018. (Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP)
LLUIS GENEAFP

Spain 1-0 Bosnia and Herzegovina

There were debuts galore in Luis Enrique's final game of 2018 with Brais Mendez, one of the four debutants, scoring in the second half to seal victory for Spain at Estdaio de FGran Canaria on Sunday night.

The news of England's victory over Croatia, which knocked Spain out of the Nations League, took some sheen off the win, which was a tame affair in comparison to the helter skelter game in Zagrab on Thursday night against Croatia.

The winning goal came when Isco took a shot, which was saved, as the Celta Vigo midfielder followed it in to slot home with 15 to play.

Spain - Bosnia and Herzegovina live online: updates and commentary

Spain - Bosnia and Herzegovina live online: preview

Spain got word earlier in the day that England had beaten Croatia thus ending their Nations League's hopes as Gareth Southgate's men go through to the semi-finals in June. If they weren't told, they could probably hear the cheer from Wembley when Harry Kane put England ahead with five minutes to go from Estadio de Gran Canaria where they play Bosnia and Herzegovina at 20:45 CET.

Luis Enrique's spell in charge of the Spain team, having taken over from Fernando Hierro after the World Cup, has been bipolar. From an almost surreal 6-0 beating of World Cup finalists Croatia, to their own beating at the hands of England just a month later, Spain have shown two different sides on a number of occasions in the few short months since the former Barcelona manager took the roll.

Against Bosnia and Herzegovina, he is without Sergio Ramos through injury, which isn't ideal, as he needs his captain there to find out who to place beside him after Gerard Pique's retirement. Inigo Martinez is the latest to be paired with him but the three goals against Croatia on Thursday won't inspire confidence in that combination. David de Gea continues to come under heavy criticism after another multi-goal game and Luis Enrique might change his keeper for the game or at least chance Kepa for the second half.

Bosnia and Herzegovina are unbeaten in nine and have only lost once in 11 games under Robert Prosinecki. He is without his main midfielder in Miralem Pjanic, however, after he suffered a muscle injury recently. Dzeko should start, however, and Spain will have a brand new chance to prove their ability to defend a capable number nine after previous attempts against Harry Kane and Andre Kramaric failed.

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