2018 FIFA WC

2018 FIFA WC: Spain held to a 'fighting' Switzerland in their last friendly

[caption id="attachment_67895" align="aligncenter" width="580"] Spain was held to a 1-1 draw by Switzerland on Sunday[/caption]

XtraTime Web Desk: In their final match on home soil before the start of the World Cup, Spain were held to a 1-1 draw by Switzerland on Sunday night at the Estadio de la Ceramica in Vila-real.Alvaro Odriozola hammered in a first-half volley to hand La Roja a half-time lead, but Switzerland answered in the second stanza through Ricardo Rodriguez to give the visitors a share of the spoils. While there were flashes of the spectacular, Spain lacked a cutting edge in their attack and failed to make the most of their ball possession. Still, as far as pre-World Cup matches will go, this will likely be viewed as a positive one for head coach Julen Lopetegui since all of his players emerging unscathed from injury.

The big question was who would start up top for Lopetegui and in the end, it was Diego Costa and Iago Aspas getting the nod. Sergio Busquets was a scratch with an illness, while Sergio Ramos was also unavailable, paving the way for Thiago and Cesar Azpilicueta, respectively. After exchanging a couple minor jabs, the two sides started carving out some real chances, starting with a David Silva shot that missed just wide after a knockdown header from Costa. That was quickly followed by Blerim Dzemaili shooting just over the crossbar.

With their blood now flowing, La Roja looked to strike and Odriozola did it in style, by taking a lofted ball across from Silva and volleying a right-footer into the net to hand the home side a 1-0 lead. Veteran Andres Iniesta was also active in the first 45 minutes, with two good cracks at goal late in the half, but unable to drive one past Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer. Switzerland was still plenty dangerous and a nice build-up saw Stephan Lichtsteiner fire a right-footed shot that Spain No. 1 David De Gea blocked right into the path of Ricardo Rodriguez who had an easy slam into the net for the 1-1 equaliser.

Spain was keen to send the fans home with a win, and Rodrigo almost provided it after a sensational back-heel pass from Lucas Vazquez, but Sommer got to play spoiler. That followed by a Nacho curler that skimmed the outside of the post. In the end, an imprecise attack and an alert Swiss defense meant the hosts would have to settle for the draw in their send-off.

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