Spain lose and Croatia win

Spain lose and Croatia win

Sergio Busquets started for Spain against France, but was unable to avoid 1-0 defeat in tonight's friendly in Paris Croatia, without Rakitic but with Halilovic in the eleven, beat Cyprus 2-0 thanks to a brace from Mandzukic

After Mascherano captained Argentina on Wednesday, tonight was the turn of Barça’s Spanish and Croatian internationals to feature in friendlies. There was bad news for the former, who were beaten 1-0 by France in Paris, but Croatia had few problems beating Cyprus 2-0.

Sergio alone

In their first outing since the disappointing showing in Brazil, Vicente del Bosque picked an unfamiliar starting eleven that only included one Barça player, Sergio Buaquets, with Jordi Alba, Bartra and Pedro all on the bench. Despite dominating the French for most of the first half, the ball didn’t want to go in and after the break the home side took more of the initiative and started creating a stream of problems for Spain keeper De Gea. The only goal came after 72 minutes when substitute Rémy struck home with his left foot.

Spain looked considerably brighter after Pedro Rodríguez was sent on to join the attack, but although Alcácer and Silva came close to equalising, there was to be no further scoring.

Croatia miss Rakitic

Croatia also had a friendly tonight, against Cyprus, although Barça’s Ivan Rakitic was not involved. But Alen Halilovic of Barça B was on for the first 70 minutes of a game that his side won by a fairly comfortable 2-0. Both goals were the work of Atlético Madrid’s Mario Mandzukic.

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