Spain took victory in two consecutive defeats by beating Bosnia-Herzegovina 1-0 in a defeated international match on Sunday. Midfielder Brais Mendez scored on his debut for the national team.

Spain had learned several hours before the kick-off that they had missed the UEFA Nations League semi-final after England beat Croatia 2-1 in London.

They seemed to be hit by the news as they played with little spark or imagination until Mendez knocked at close range to calm the game.

Coach Luis Enrique, who lost 2-2 to Croatia on Thursday and lost to England in the same match in October to break the fate of the National League, seized the opportunity to give his second strings a chance.

Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga came for much-criticized David De Gea and Espanyol defender Mario Hermoso for his international debut, while Isco wore the captaincy in his 35th international match for Spain.

Spain dominated the ball throughout the match, but struggled with decent chances. Isco and Marco Asensio moved in the first half to try their luck with long shots that rarely disturbed Bosnia goalkeeper Ibrahim Sehic.

Alvaro Morata missed a great opportunity to break the deadlock at the start of the second half when Sehic parried a shot from Asensio to his feet, but the Chelsea striker did not hit the ball properly and missed the target.

Spain's final breakthrough came with another upturn as 21-year-old Mendez first dropped onto a loose ball when Sehic did not hit Isco low.

The goal gave the spectators in Las Palmas the necessary impetus and allowed Spain to round off the eventful and difficult 2018 with a win.


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