UEFA Nations League
Result: Croatia 3-2 Spain
Date: 15 November 2018
Venue: Stadion Maksimir
Spain missed the chance to advance to the UEFA Nations League finals on Thursday after they lost 3-2 to Croatia in Zagreb.
Ivan Perisic had the first opportunity to open the scoring for the Vatreni in the sixth minute, powering his way into the box and unleashing a strike at the near post that was brilliantly saved by La Roja goalkeeper David De Gea.
Luis Enrique’s charges were adopting a cautious approach after 20 minutes, trying to slow down the tempo of the match.
The hosts were not getting their passing rhythm right after half-an-hour which made for a scrappy affair in the middle of the park.
Spain had their first shot at goal two minutes before halftime with Isco twisting and turning inside the box before he saw his long range strike tipped over the bar.
Nine minutes into the second half, Andrej Kramaric broke the deadlock for Croatia with a bit of luck as Sergi Roberto’s attempted clearance came off Perisic and sailed into the path of Kramaric, who made no mistake from close range.
Dani Ceballos quickly equalised for La Roja two minutes later with a strike inside the box after he was set up by his Real Madrid teammate, Isco.
Iago Aspas missed a great chance to give Spain the lead in the 62nd minute after he struck his effort against the bar with the goal at his mercy.
Defender Tin Jedvaj restored the lead for the Vatreni 21 minutes before time with a header at the back post, following a brilliant delivery from Luka Modric.
Sergio Ramos brought La Roja level with 12 minutes remaining from the penalty spot after Croatia defender Šime Vrsaljiko was penalised for a handball inside the box.
The match was swinging from end-to-end in the last five minutes as they were both looking for the winner.
However, Jedvaj netted deep in stoppage time for Croatia and completed his brace after poking home from the rebound inside the box, 3-2.
Spain will now need England and Croatia to play a draw in the group's final game on Sunday to secure a spot in the finals.