Uefa Nations League: Superb Spain put six past Croatia

Uefa Nations League: Superb Spain put six past Croatia

Uefa Nations League: Superb Spain put six past Croatia

Luis Enrique later added the player to the group after Diego Costa requested permission to leave the team to be present at his daughter's birth.

The 2018 World Cup runners-up continued to pile the pressure on Spain inside the first quarter of an hour, but were yet to get clear goal scoring opportunities.

Marco Asensio was arguably the star of the show and scored his first global goal on 33 minutes by capitalising on some sloppy midfield play to collect the ball 25 yards out and beat Lovre Kalinic with a left-footed rocket. Moments later, Asensio's curling shot took a deflection off the crossbar, hitting the Croatian keeper's back and bouncing in.

That counted as one of four assists for Asensio on the night, with a more conventional one coming four minutes after the restart when he released Rodrigo who nutmegged Kalinic for his fourth goal in six starts for his country.

Playing in a small venue in Elche - a site that rarely gets to host Spanish national team games - should confer the hosts a more significant, more intimidating home-field advantage than the usual atmosphere of a pseudo-friendly game played in the larger, cavern-like stadiums. Gylfi Sigurdsson had an early shot deflected as Iceland pressed forward, but once Belgium had taken a decisive 2-0 lead, the hosts struggled to create anything resembling a decent shot on goal.

What does it mean?

The UEFA Nation's League match between Spain and Croatia will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Univision Deportes.

This looked a long way from the Croatia side who reached the World Cup final two months ago, and that was summed up appropriately by the performance of Domagoj Vida. He was unable to cope with the pace of Asensio or Rodrigo, was pulled out of position far too often and lost Ramos at a corner for Spain's fifth. This will be the team's first Nations League match.

Related news