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Spain and Switzerland draw 1-1 in World Cup warm-up

(Xinhua)    15:26, June 04, 2018

MADRID, June 3 -- Spain and Switzerland drew a World Cup warm-up game 1-1 in Villarreal on Sunday. The Spanish had the majority of possession, but failed to break down a well-organized Swiss defense.

Alvaro Odriozola deservedly put Spain ahead with a smart volley, but Ricardo Rodriguez ensured it ended all square after an error from Spain keeper David de Gea. Spain were without the five Real Madrid players who played in the Champions League final eight days ago, while Sergio Busquets, almost a certain starter in the World Cup, was sidelined with a stomach bug. Thiago Alcantara stepped in to partner Koke in the Spanish midfield.

Coach Julen Lopetegui started with Diego Costa up front alongside Celta Vigo forward Iago Aspas, who was the top scoring Spaniard in La Liga last season. Meanwhile the Spain midfield contained other creative players like Andres Iniesta, and David Silva, while Cesar Azpilicueta partnered Gerard Pique in central defense.

Spain almost scored in the second minute when Thiago unleashed a shot which Swiss keeper Sommer parried for a corner. At the other end David de Gea saved an effort from Haris Seferovic, although the offside flag had been raised. Costa showed his importance to Spain in the 23rd minute with a knockdown to Silva, who fired just wide.

The Spanish opened the scoring in the 29th minute when right back Alvaro Odriozola scored a neat right foot volley after being given time to pick his spot following a poor clearance. The rest of the half was played in the Swiss half of the field, but without any real danger until the 45th minute when Iniesta stung Sommer's hands with a powerful shot after a mazy run; one of the few moments a player looked to up the pace in the final third of the pitch.

Spain began the second half pressing the Swiss deep as their rivals looked to play out from the back with Iniesta again firing just wide before the carousel of strikers continued with Rodrigo Moreno replacing Costa, just after Costa had attempted an overhead kick.

The Swiss equalized in the 62nd minute after David de Gea failed to hold a shot from Breel Embolo, leaving an easy finish for Ricardo Rodriquez.

After the goal and with Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez on the pitch, Spain looked to use the full width of the pitch, but the Swiss, who are ranked sixth in the current FIFA rankings, defended solidly, although Sommer did well to deny Rodrigo after neat work from Vazquez. Nacho Fernandez almost won the game for Spain in injury time, first with a shot which brushed the post and then with a header which he failed to get on target.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Xu JiaWei, Bianji)

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