MADRID: Spain followed up their weekend victory away to England by thrashing World Cup runners-up Croatia 6-0 in Alicante in the UEFA Nations League.
Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio was outstanding with one goal — Spain’s second, driven in from 25 yards — and three assists.
Saul Níguez, Rodrigo, Sergio Ramos and Isco also found the net while Croatia goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic was credited with an own goal after Asensio shot hit the bar and ricocheted into the net off the keeper’s back.
In the day’s friendly matches England averted what would have been a historic fourth consecutive defeat when they beat Switzerland 1-0 in Leicester. Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford scored the decisive goal early in the second half largely against the run of play against a Swiss side which then subsided.
Gavin Whyte scored with his first touch in international football to complete a deserved 3-0 win for Northern Ireland over Israel in a friendly at Windsor Park. The Oxford United forward tapped home in the 67th minute, 106 seconds after arriving as a substitute, when Stuart Dallas’s left-wing cross was pushed into his path by Guy Haimov, the goalkeeper.
Israel, Scotland’s Nations League group rivals, were no match for a Northern Ireland team featuring five changes from the 2-1 home defeat by Bosnia-Herzegovina on Saturday.
Steven Davis, the captain, gave them a 13th-minute lead when he struck home from the edge of the penalty area after a corner. The advantage was doubled four minutes before the break when George Saville’s high cross from the left to the far post was sidefooted home on the volley by Dallas.
The Republic of Ireland shrugged off a traumatic few days to record an admirable 1-1 draw against Poland in a friendly in Wroclaw.
A goal by Aiden O’Brien on his Ireland debut ultimately ensured parity only five days after a 4-1 thrashing by Wales in the Nations League and amid the controversy of Harry Arter’s absence from the squad after an altercation with Roy Keane, the assistant manager.
Poland dominated the first half, with Arkadiusz Milik missing an easy headed chance, but Ireland took the lead in the 53rd minute when Callum O’Dowda, of Bristol City, delivered an inswinging cross that O’Brien, the Millwall striker, diverted into the net with a glancing header over Wojciech Szczesny, the former Arsenal goalkeeper.
It seemed that would be enough for victory until three minutes from time when Poland’s Mateusz Klich, the Leeds United midfielder, exchanged passes with Milik and steered the ball past Darren Randolph, the goalkeeper.