Spain qualification campaign for the world cup for Qatar 2022 has taken a very complicated turn after a 2-1 defeat against Sweden on Thursday night at Friends Arena in Solna.
Carlos Soler La Roja got off to a dream start, but an immediate response from Alexander Isaac and the second half kicks off Viktor Claesson handed Spain their first qualifier defeat in the World Cup since 1993.
La Roja is now in second place in the Group B table, two points behind the Swedes and with the Scandinavians with a game in hand.
Luis Enrique went with a start -XI that was quite reminiscent of SpainEuro 2020 campaign with the silver medalist in Tokyo 2020 and debutant in the senior team Soler in midfield as one of the news.
Soler immediately refunded the coach from his coach to give his side a 1-0 lead in the opening minutes by directing a shot home once outside the crossbar from Jordi Alba.
The joy was short, however, as less than a minute later a bad back passed from Soler for Sergio Busquets gave another ball Isaac and that Real Sociedad the man took full advantage and shot home the 1-1 draw past Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon.
There was little evidence of the sluggish 0-0 draw that the team played during Euro 2020 earlier this summer, with games wide open and a host of chances for both sides in the first half, including one for Sweden‘s Dejan Kulusevski, which forced away a savings save Unai Simon.
SpainDefensive weaknesses would emerge at the beginning of the second stanza when they failed to handle one Sweden corner and the home team took advantage, with Claesson receive a passport in space in Spain area and beatings Unai Simon at near the post for a 2-1 lead.
With the second Swedish point, the match got a form of Spain have the ball and Sweden sit back and wait to hit the counter. Luis Enrique also made his first change of night, which Adama Traore replaced Gerard Moreno. It was followed shortly afterwards Marcos Llorente and Pablo Sarabia for Koke and Alvaro Morata, respectively.
La Roja continued to increase the pressure while leaving vulnerable in the back and, if not for extraordinary tackles from Eric Garcia and then Aymeric Laporte, Isaac likely would have struck a third for Sweden.
Rodri and Brais Mendez was then called off Luis Enrique for the last minutes of Busquets and Soler, but it did not matter when the Swedish defense closed the door to saddle Spain with a rare qualifier defeat in the World Cup.
2.- Sweden: Olsen; Krafth, Helander, Lindelof, Augustinsson; Olsson, Ekdal (Cajuste, min. 69), Laesson, Forsberg (Svanberg, min. 94); Isaac (Kiese Thelin, min. 85), Kulusevski (Quaison, min. 85)
1.- Spain: Unai Simon; Azpilicueta, Eric Garca, Laporte, Jordi Alba; Busquets (Rodri, min. 85), Koke (Llorente, min. 75), Soler (Brais Mendez, min. 85); Ferran, Gerard Moreno (Traore, min. 64), Morata (Sarabia, min. 75)
Goal: 0-1, min. 4: Soler; 1-1, min. 5: Isaac; 2-1, min. 57: Claesson
Judge: Anthony Taylor (England).
Yellow cards: Kulusevski (Min. 34) for Sweden, Jordi Alba (Min. 35) for Spain, Busquets (Min. 40) for Spain, Krafth (Min. 52) for Sweden
Red cards: No
Stadium: friends Arena