UEFA Nations League preview - Tuesday: Spain v Croatia, Iceland v Belgium

Heather Diaz
September 12, 2018

Ivan Rakitic received a warm applause from the crowd as the Barcelona midfielder was honored by Croatian officials prior to the match for his 100th national team cap.

We played two big games [against Croatia and England], and our fans supported us.

"The comparisons with the World Cup do not make sense, today we were very effective and everything went wonderfully well, they have had some chances, they have not done it effectively and we have played marvelously with very handsome goals".

Spain now have six points in UEFA Nations League Group 4 after two games.

In other Uefa Nations League games, England edged Switzerland 1-0, Belgium beat Iceland 3-0, and Poland and Ireland played out a 1-1 draw.

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

World Cup finalists Croatia thrashed by Spain
Spain vs. Croatia live stream: Watch UEFA Nation’s league online

The Real Madrid prodigy deserved a second moments later when he cut in from the right flank and whipped a shot against the crossbar, with the ball dropping down and over the line off the head of Kalinic for an own goal.

Then Rodrigo headed Carvajal's cross early in the 2nd half to make it 4-nil. Spain were in a confident mood after winning their first game under Luis Enrique 2-1 away to England in their Nations League opener on Saturday and once they scored the floodgates opened and Croatia were left chasing shadows.

Dalic's men did play a friendly on Thursday night, drawing 1-1 with Portugal as Ivan Perisic and Pepe exchanged goals, but he has to deal with several team changes since the World Cup.

Spain made three changes to the team that won at Wembley, bringing in Valencia defender Jose Gaya and Real Madrid pair Dani Ceballos and Asensio.

Belgium began with nine of the players who started the World Cup third-place playoff win against England in Russian Federation, with the injured Kevin De Bruyne replaced by Dries Mertens.

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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