Spain showed rare signs of defensive frailty as they squandered a two-goal lead to slump to a thrilling 3-3 friendly draw with Fedor Smolov-inspired Russia on Tuesday, despite Sergio Ramos scoring twice from the penalty spot.
The home side found themselves trailing 2-0 just after the half-hour mark, as Spain appeared to pick up where they left off in their 5-0 hammering of Costa Rica, but Russia fought back and ultimately secured a commendable draw thanks to Smolov’s stunning second goal.
An entertainingly frantic first half saw plenty of attacking football and the opening goal took just nine minutes to arrive, as Jordi Alba – who broke the deadlock against Costa Rica on Saturday – headed in a Marco Asensio cross.
A Ramos penalty saw their lead doubled, though Russia halved the deficit a few minutes before the break – Smolov emphatically finishing a flowing move from the edge of the box.
Russia equalised early in the second half thanks to Aleksey Miranchuk, though poor defending quickly allowed Ramos the chance to bury a second penalty, which the captain did with aplomb.
Smolov brought Russia level again 20 minutes from time, though, sending a fierce long-range effort into the top-left corner to set up a tantalising finish that ultimately saw the teams end on level terms.
2 – Sergio Ramos is the first player to score two penalties in the same game for Spain since at least 2004. Captain. pic.twitter.com/82JglzbwMd
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) November 14, 2017
A counter-attack almost brought about a Russia goal in the eighth minute, as Spain were caught with too many men forward and Smolov prodded wide following a brilliant Igor Smolnikov cross.
Spain clinically responded by going a goal up with the next attack.
Asensio was given too much space on the left flank and his teasing cross was expertly diverted over Andrey Lunev by Alba’s glancing header.
Rodrigo went close to a second shortly after, as he produced a clever turn on the edge of the area to lose Viktor Vasin before shooting at Lunev.
Spain did look set to go into the break 2-0 up when Ramos coolly converted a penalty after Daler Kuzyaev handled in the area.
But Russia pulled one back in the 41st minute – Smolov shaped to shoot, fooled a defender and smashed a left-footed effort into the bottom-right corner from 18 yards.
Spain’s lead was then wiped out entirely five minutes after the restart, as Miranchuk put past David de Gea from close range after good work on the left by Yuri Zhirkov.
But they were level for just three minutes before Ramos’ second penalty put Spain ahead again – the Real Madrid star dispatching from 12 yards after being tripped by Giorgi Jikia.
Russia poured men forward in response and were good value for a third goal, which arrived in glorious fashion as Smolov sent an unstoppable drive beyond De Gea from just outside the penalty area.
And they should have clinched a remarkable win five minutes from the end, but Aleksandr Kokorin saw his effort saved by De Gea at the end of a swift counter.
A nasty collision between Rodrigo and Lunev resulted in the Russia goalkeeper being withdrawn late on, forcing Denis Glushakov to go in goal for the final moments due to all of their substitutions being made, but Spain failed to capitalise and the hosts held out for a draw.
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