Tuesday, June 22, 2021 | Dhu al-Qaadah 11, 1442 H
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England stun Spain in thriller


Barcelona: England stunned Spain by beating them 3-2 in a Nations League Group A4 encounter in Seville on Monday. Raheem Sterling opened the scoring on 16 minutes from Marcus Rashford’s cross and Harry Kane then set up Rashford to make it 2-0 on the half hour. Sterling got his second and England’s third, again from a Kane assist, to make it 3-0. Spain brought on Paco Alcacer on the 57th minute and within two minutes he had pulled a goal back heading in a corner. Sergio Ramos headed past Pickford seven minutes into injury time but it was the last piece of action of the game.

“It was amazing, Spain are probably one of the in-form teams in the world. We knew we could beat them. We came out the blocks firing. The second half was difficult, but we defended well and soaked up the pressure,” the England captain Kane told Sky Sports.

Ramos said: “That’s the great thing about football you can make amends in the second half. We made mistakes in the first half but we did well in the second half and we dominated completely.”

Spain started well and almost struck first when Saul Niguez headed across the face of goal and Marcos Alonso’s shot was blocked by Jordan Pickford.

But then England stunned their hosts with three first half goals. First Kane played in Rashford and he crossed for Sterling to rifle into the David De Gea’s far corner.

It was 2-0 on 30 minutes when Kane held the ball up under pressure from Ramos and Nacho Fernandez and played it through for Rashford to score.

Seven minutes before the break, Sterling made it 3-0. Again Kane was the architect pulling the ball back for the Manchester City forward to net his second from close range.

There had been whistles for the singing of God Save the Queen before the game from the Spanish spectators, now the whistles were for the Spain team as they left the pitch at half time.

Spain did not improve after the break and Sterling had a strong claim for a penalty when he was trod on by Jonny Otto on the edge of the area.

Luis Enrique put Dani Ceballos and Alcacer on at the 57 minute mark.

Within two minutes, Borussia Dortmund’s loan signing from Barcelona, Alcacer, had scored, heading in a corner to narrow the margin to 3-1.

Spain then believed they should have been awarded a penalty. Pickford miscontrolled a backpass and was dispossessed by Rodrigo Moreno. The England goalkeeper pulled the forward back but the referee Szymon Marciniak waved away Spain’s furious appeals.

Marcos Alonso hit the bar and then Ramos scored in the seven minutes of added time but it was too late for Spain to complete the comeback.

England had held on for their first win in Spain since 1987 when Gary Lineker scored four in a 4-2 win in Madrid.

In the final two group matches Spain play Croatia in Zagreb on November 15 and England play Croatia at Wembley three days later.

Spain still have a two-point lead over England and will secure top spot if they beat Croatia.

“We have a month to recharge our batteries and then win in Zagreb,” Spain coach Luis Enrique said.

— dpa

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