Spain blow lead against Switzerland after De Gea mishap

Reuters , Sunday 3 Jun 2018,
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David De Gea
Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup - Spain Training - Spanish Federation Soccer Headquarters, Las Rozas, Spain - May 29, 2018 Spain's David De Gea during training REUTERS

Spain goalkeeper David de Gea made a rare error which led to his side drawing 1-1 at home to Switzerland in a pre-World Cup friendly on Sunday after dominating without making their superior possession count.

Real Sociedad rightback Alvaro Odriozola scored his first international goal with an impressive volley to give the 2010 World Cup winners the lead in the 29th minute at Villarreal's La Ceramica stadium following a dominant start.

Switzerland fullback Ricardo Rodriguez tucked into an empty net to level in the 62nd after an uncharacteristically sloppy piece of goalkeeping from Manchester United's De Gea, who failed to hold a weak shot from Juventus's Stephan Lichtsteiner.

Spain coach Julen Lopetegui started without any players who had helped Real Madrid win last weekend's Champions League final against Liverpool while Barcelona holding midfielder Sergio Busquets was a late absentee with a stomach bug.

Lopetegui's side had two-thirds of possession and looked in control of the game until De Gea's mishap although they lacked dynamism and were a far cry from the ruthless side that had hammered Argentina 6-1 in their last outing.

Veteran midfielder Andres Iniesta pulled the strings for Spain in his last appearance on home soil before his expected retirement from international football but was substituted early in the second half as a precaution shortly after banging his knee.

The hosts initially lost momentum after Iniesta left the pitch but they finished the game strongly and substitute Nacho twice came close to snatching a late winner, clipping the post and then heading just wide.

Spain travel to the World Cup base in Krasnodar next week and will play their final warm-up game in the Russian city against Tunisia on Saturday, before meeting European champions Portugal in a mouthwatering Group B opener in Sochi on June 15.

Switzerland play at home to Japan on Friday, later meeting five-times winners Brazil in their first game of the tournament in Group E on June 17 in Rostov.

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