Spain vs. Croatia - Football Match Report

Croatia celebrate scoring in a friendly against Portugal last week

Croatia will hope to get their first Nations League points when they host England next month.

Spain was eliminated during the round of 16 of the World Cup, losing to Russian Federation on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

Croatia, whose side contained just four of those who started the World Cup final in Moscow this July - defender Domagoj Vida and midfielders Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Ivan Perisic - had actually started the game the stronger but now have to regroup before facing England in October.

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.

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Ten minutes later Marco Asensio made it 2-nil with a powerful shot.

Asensio, who was not among the starters against England, also set up Rodrigo's goal early in the second half with a ideal through ball behind the defence.

The Croats were made to pay in a big way, starting when Saul Niguez opened the scoring on 24 minutes, timing his run from deep to perfection to leap above Matej Mitrovic and thump Carvajal's cross into the bottom corner.

Spain have rattled in the goals against Croatia to take charge of their Nations League group. Croatia drew with Portugal in a friendly last week.

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Manager Zlatko Dalic and his team of World Cup finalists could sit back on Saturday evening and watch their League A Group 4 rivals go head-to-head at Wembley.

In the other League A match on Tuesday, Belgium won 3-0 at Iceland in its Nations League debut.

Luis Enrique was thrilled with the way his side performed, including debutants Jose Gaya and Dani Ceballos, and described Asensio's shooting ability as "unique".

Tuesday's match in Elche marked ex-Barcelona boss Luis Enrique's first home game as Spain manager, and his second win in as many matches since taking over La Roja reins in July.

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Lukaku and Hazard, whose goal came off a penalty kick, were two of Belgium's top players in its third-place campaign at the World Cup.

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