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Alvaro Morata strike gives Spain draw with Colombia

Alvaro Morata strike gives Spain draw with Colombia

Spain came from behind with a late goal from Alvaro Morata to draw 2-2 with Columbia ahead of Sunday’s clash with Macedonia.

La Roja was unbeaten in eight under new manager Julen Lopetegui as they faced off against Jose Peckerman’s Columbia.

Spain named a rotated but strong starting lineup with Pique, David Silva and Andres Iniesta all starting in Murcia, whilst Asier Illarramendi made his international debut, a deserved reward after a strong season with Real Sociedad.

Spain started the better side, controlling possession and probing the Colombian defence. The South Americans had little to shout, aside from a brilliant Cuadrado shot from range that was fumbled by Pepe Reina in goal.

Spain took the lead soon after, playing the ball quickly from midfield to Pedro out wide with David Silva scoring from the resulting cross. David Ospina will be disappointed not to have stopped the shot after getting a firm hand on the ball before it trickled into the back of the net.

The goal seemed to wake up Columbia with James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao leading the charge for an equaliser. An equaliser they would get through a Spanish defensive mishap that allowed Edwin Cardona to score just before halftime.

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The second half saw a number of changes for the home team with players such as Nacho Monreal, Marco Asensio and Saul Niguez all getting some minutes. Spain started brightly, Asensio seeing a lot of the ball in the opening stages.

Despite their bright start to the second half, Spain would concede a second, the first time they have conceded two at home in 11 years. A superb corner from James Rodriguez was headed in by Radamel Falcao, the Monaco striker’ 26th international goal, two years on from his 25th, making him Columbia’s outright top goalscorer.

Lopetegui responded by bringing on Real Madrid striker, Morata for a quiet Iago Aspas, as Spain pushed for an equaliser. La Roja dominated the second half with Columbia sitting back and trying to play on the counter. It appeared that the new Spanish boss was going to see his first defeat as manager until the 87th minute when Morata equalised with a fantastic header across goal.

It was fitting that the Madrid man would be the one to score, having scored more than a few late goals over the course of the season.  The Spanish pushed for a winner but couldn’t find one and will now look to their important World Qualifier clash with Macedonia before a crunch tie with Italy in September.

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Starting Lineups:

Spain: Pepe Reina, Azpilicueta, Pique (Deulofeu), Nacho, Alba (Monreal), David Silva (Saul Niguez), Iniesta (Marco Asensio), Koke, Illarramendi, Pedro (Vitolo), Aspas (Morata).

Columbia: Ospina, Arias, Sanchez, Armero, Zapata, Aguilar, Carlos Sanchez, James Rodriguez, Falcao, Cuadrado.