Spain thrash Croatia 6-0
Spain showed their remarkable potential under new coach Luis Enrique by destroying World Cup runners-up Croatia 6-0 on Tuesday to hand the visitors their biggest-ever defeat and take control of their Nations League group.
- Published 13.09.18
Elche: Spain showed their remarkable potential under new coach Luis Enrique by destroying World Cup runners-up Croatia 6-0 on Tuesday to hand the visitors their biggest-ever defeat and take control of their Nations League group.
Midfielder Saul Niguez scored in his home city of Elche by heading home midway through the first half, giving Spain the lead against the run of play after Croatia had made a bright start and missed two good chances.
The hosts soon increased their lead with two thumping strikes from Marco Asensio, the second of which was given as an own goal to Croatia goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic as it bounced off him after crashing against the crossbar.
Rodrigo Moreno completed a fine team move after the interval before captain Sergio Ramos headed the fifth while a strike from Isco saw Spain become the first team to score six against Croatia as they charged top of League A, Group 4 on six points.
It was also the second time this year that Spain have scored six goals against World Cup runners-up, following their 6-1 win over 2014 finalists Argentina in March.
Spain were in a confident mood after winning their first game under Luis Enrique 2-1 away to England in their Nations League opener on Saturday and once they scored the floodgates opened and Croatia were left chasing shadows.
“We played a spectacular game and rounded off a brilliant week. We needed to recuperate the feelings we had before, we’ve played two great games,” said goalscorer Asensio, who also provided three assists.
In Reykjavik, Romelu Lukaku scored two goals as Belgium began their campaign with a comfortable 3-0 win away to Iceland. Eden Hazard converted a 29th-minute penalty after a foul on Lukaku, with the Manchester United striker netting a quickfire second before adding a third in the closing stages.
Lukaku, also on the mark in Friday’s 4-0 friendly defeat of Scotland, was brought down by a clumsy tackle from Sverrir Ingason and Hazard rolled the resulting spot-kick to the left of Hannes Halldorsson.
He then got himself on the scoresheet two minutes later by following up a rebound after a powerful Vincent Kompany header was pawed into his path by Halldorsson.