The 2010 World Cup winners Spain are now unbeaten in last 18 games since Julen Lopetegui took command following their exit at the first knockout stage of Euro 2016. Spain’s attacking midfielder Isco scored a hat-trick in solid 6-1 victory over Argentina at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid. Diego Costa scored Spain’s opening goal 12 minutes in and was injured after colliding with Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero. The former Chelsea striker looked in some pain, while Manchester United back-up Romero was also forced off soon after. Isco put Spain in control with the second of the game after just 27 minutes, but Nicolas Otamendi gave Argentina – without talismanic captain Lionel Messi – hope with a goal shortly before half-time.
The two-time world champions were helpless to counter-attacks, and Chelsea goalkeeper Willy Caballero, a replacement for Manchester United’s Romero who was injured trying to stop Costa’s goal, failed to inspire on his second entrance for his country. Gonzalo Higuain was collapsing in front of goal as Otamendi proved Argentina’s most significant intimidation from set-pieces. Argentina was also fortunate to finish with 11 men on the pitch as tempers boiled over near the end, prompting Premier League referee Anthony Taylor to blow the whistle on 90 minutes without any time added on.
Spain Line-Up De Gea, Carvajal, Pique Substituted for Azpilictaat 72′minutes 15RamosBooked at 89mins 18AlbaSubstituted forAlonsoat 79′minutes Koke, Thiago, Alcantara, Substituted for Iago Aspasas, Asensio Substituted forParejoat 82′minutes 6Injesta Substituted for Niguezat 56′minutes 22 Isco Booked at 68minsSubstituted for Vazquez
Argentina Line-Up G Higuain, M Meza, E. Banega, G.Lo Celsa, M.Rojo, F.Bustos, N.Otamendi, L.Biglia, J Mascherano, S. Romero, Lo Celso. Substitute– Gabriel Mercado, Federico Fazio, Leandro Paredes, Marcos Acuna, Diego Perotti, Willy Caballero, Cristian Pavon, Angel Correa, Nahuel Guzman, Pablo Perez, Ramiro funes Mori, Willy Caballero