International Friendly
  • Nolito (11', 18')
  • Pedro (90'+4')
  • Emir Spahic (29')
  • Emir Spahic (45'+1')

Nolito scores brace as Spain easily defeat Bosnia-Herzegovina

Nolito staked a strong claim for a place in Spain's Euro 2016 squad with a brace to down Bosnia-Herzegovina 3-1 in Switzerland.

In a surprisingly bad-tempered friendly, Emir Spahic replied to Nolito's quick-fire double before being dismissed for a violent outburst before the break. Pedro secured the victory with a close-range goal deep into second-half stoppage-time, reminding fans of his ability after a disappointing year with Chelsea.

Nolito should now expect to make Vicente del Bosque's final 23, while young debutant Mikel Oyazarbal also gave the European champions' boss food for thought with his spirited performance off the bench in St Gallen.

The long-serving head coach, shorn of his Real and Atletico Madrid stars due to Saturday night's Champions League final in Milan, fielded an experimental line-up with Celta Vigo hotshot Nolito leading the line, supported by veteran Athletic Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz and Manchester City's David Silva.

Nolito had failed to score in any of his six previous outings for Spain but found two goals inside 18 opening minutes.

His first came from a short corner, Cesc Fabregas feeding Nolito for a curling shot that brushed against Asmir Begovic's fingertips before finding the net.

Six minutes later Nolito doubled his international tally in style. Again Fabregas supplied the pass - then, bizarrely, Nolito stood still inside the penalty area before deftly lobbing Begovic, who had abandoned his line in a bid to do the dallying defenders' job for them.

Spahic slashed the deficit against the run of play in the 29th minute when he rose highest to head Miralem Pjanic's corner beyond Sergio Asenjo.

But the Hamburg defender would not get the chance to lead a one-man resurgence as he was dismissed for raising his hands to Fabregas during a touchline flare-up on the stroke of half-time.

There was an early scare for Spain when play resumed, Villarreal goalkeeper Asenjo preserving his team's advantage with a desperate parry from Milan Djuric.

Come the hour mark Diego Llorente, Inaki Williams and Oyarzarbal were given their senior debuts, and the latter - a 19-year-old Real Sociedad winger - almost marked his maiden cap with a goal.

Cutting inside from the right flank to control a long ball forward in the 75th minute, Oyarzarbal fired across the stranded Begovic but watched his shot bobble just wide.

The teenager continued to dazzle as time ticked away at the AFG Arena and he was unlucky to miss from six yards out as Spain pushed forward in pursuit of a third goal to rubber-stamp the outcome.

Substitute Pedro, more than 50 caps ahead of Oyarzarbal in the pecking order, delivered the goods for La Roja, the Chelsea man slotting home at the death.