Vardy scores against Spain

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England v Spain

15 Nov 2016 - 8:00 PM

England maintained their unbeaten run under the tutelage of interim-manager Gareth Southgate but were forced to settle for a draw after conceding twice in the dying moments at Wembley Stadium.

Goals from Adam Lallana and Jamie Vardy had looked to be sufficient to see off Spain, before substitutes Iago Aspas and Isco dampened the carnival-like atmosphere inside Wembley Stadium.

The hosts, playing with purpose from the off, took the lead on nine minutes when Lallana scored his second England goal in five days from the penalty spot after Vardy had been felled by former Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina.

And Southgate’s men doubled their advantage at the beginning of a dominant second period when Vardy headed in Jordan Henderson’s cross.

Aspas, the former Liverpool forward making his international debut, struck superbly in the 89th minute.

And as the clock ticked into a sixth minute of stoppage time at the end of the second half Isco beat substitute keeper Tom Heaton at his near post to snatch a draw.

It means England complete 2016 with two wins and two draws from four matches since Southgate took charge.

The interim boss made three changes from the side that beat Scotland 3-0 on Friday night.

Nathaniel Clyne replaced Kyle Walker at right-back, Jesse Lingard came in for Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney and, with Harry Kane having returned to club side Tottenham Hotspur, Vardy led the line.

It took just nine minutes for the injection of Vardy’s pace to pay dividends.

Lallana, scorer of England’s second goal against Scotland, gathered possession on the right-flank and played an inch-perfect pass that curled away from covering defender Inigo Martinez, through to Vardy 10 yards from goal.

The Leicester City talisman looked to skip around Reina and the 34-year-old keeper brought him down. Referee Ovidiu Alin Lallana pointed to the spot and Lallana made no mistake from 12 yards.

Spain’s initial response began with a typically calm passage of play that eventually saw Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata pull the back from the byeline for Vitolo, but the Sevilla star dragged his low shot wide.

After an enforced reshuffle with Lallana leaving the field through injury to be replaced by Theo Walcott, Spain were next to try and force an opening, but Aritz Aduriz’s pass was too heavy for Vitolo.

England’s greatest goal threat looked to be Raheem Sterling. The Manchester City man spent much of the half tearing down the left-flank and away from Dani Carvajal, on two occasions seeing low crosses diverted away from goal with Vardy otherwise poised and waiting to poach.

After half-time England burst out of the traps and Jesse Lingard played in Walcott on the right-side of the penalty area, but the Arsenal man’s shot was deflected wide at the near post.

Spain did not heed their warning and England doubled the lead three minutes after the restart.

Captain for the night Jordan Henderson gathered a loose ball on the edge of the box and stood a cross up for Vardy to head in at the far post. The Three Lions frontline celebrated with their take on viral sensation the mannequin challenge.

Only Reina denied a quick third goal. Vardy burst through a hole in the heart of the Spain midfield that Sergio Busquests had plugged perfectly in the opening 45 minutes, and played in Walcott to his right. The substitute’s low effort across goal was palmed away by Reina and though Spain’s attempted clearance fell to Henderson, the Liverpool midfield skewed his effort off target.

In a rip-roaring start to the second period, half-time substitute Heaton had to smartly deny David Silva at his near post with Spain not prepared to go down without a fight.

But England’s pace in attack was causing a plethora of problems and when Lingard got away from the Spain defence and then skipped wide of Reina, defender Nacho, well-positioned on the line, was all that stood between the home side and another notch on the scoresheet.

At the other end substitute Alvaro Morata was next to try his luck with a low effort from 20 yards, that Heaton held comfortably.

Spain found the net with an 89th-minute consolation when Aspas bent a sumptuous effort across goal and into Heaton’s top-right corner, the Burnley keeper perhaps unsighted as John Stones backtracked.

And the visitors ensured they had something to show for their eighth visit to the nation stadium when Isco latched onto a pass over the top of Eric Dier and squeezed a low effort through the legs of Heaton at his near post with virtually the final kick of the game.

England (4-2-3-1): 1 Joe Hart; 2 Nathaniel Clyne, 5 Gary Cahill, 6 John Stones, 3 Danny Rose; 8 Jordan Henderson, 4 Eric Dier; 7 Raheem Sterling, 11 Adam Lallana, 10 Jesse Lingard; 9 Jamie Vardy

Substitutes: 14 Theo Walcott for Lallana 26, 13 Tom Heaton for Hart 46, 16 Phil Jagielka for Cahill 46, 17 Andros Townsend for Sterling 65, 20 Marcus Rashford for Vardy 67, 22 Aaron Cresswell for Rose 79

Substitutes not used: 23 Jordan Pickford, 12 Kyle Walker, 15 Daniel Sturridge, 18 Michael Keane, 19 Jack Wilshere, 21 Ryan Bertrand

Interim manager: Gareth Southgate

Goals: Adam Lallana (pen) 9, Jamie Vardy 48

Yellow cards: Raheem Sterling 29, Theo Walcott 31, Danny Rose 45+2

Red cards: None

Spain (4-1-4-1): 23 Pepe Reina; 15 Dani Carvajal, 16 Inigo Martinez, 6 Nacho, 2 Cesar Azpilicueta; 5 Sergio Busquets; 13 Juan Mata, 10 Thiago Alcantara, 21 David Silva, 11 Vitolo; 9 Aritz Aduriz

Substitutes: 8 Koke for Vitolo 46, 19 Iago Aspas for Mata 46, 17 Ander Herrera for Thiago 56, 22 Isco for Silva 64, 7 Alvaro Morata for Aduriz 64, 20 Nolito for Busquets 78

Substitutes not used: 1 David De Gea, 12 Sergio Asenjo, 3 Sergi Roberto, 4 Marc Bartra, 14 Jose Callejon, 18 Nacho Monreal, 24 Lucas Vazquez, 25 Sergio Escudero

Manager: Julen Lopetegui

Goals: Iago Aspas 89, Isco 90+6

Yellow cards: Inigo Martinez 30, Dani Caravjal 75

Red cards: None

Referee: Ovidiu Alin Hategan (Romania)

Attendance: 83,716

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