Harry Kane's late Wembley winner leaves Spain in limbo
I'm not sure as to how many consecutive games Harry Kane has failed to score for England, but it had to be yesterday when the Spurs player bucked this trend. His late winner in the 85th minute of the game thwarted Spanish dreams of a draw between England and Croatia that would have seem "La Roja" seal a final four place of the UEFA Nations League. On the balance of overall play the home side did deserve the win with a fantastic first thirty minutes. Croatia managed to ride the storm with a resistance that epitomises the Balkan sides in every sport and even went ahead in the second half. Southgate re-grouped his men and spurred on by a packed house at Wembley his team managed to secure the two goals that secured their passage. It was a fitting final game to what's been a great group and ultimately resolved by a predatory finish from Kane.
So, no final four place for "La Roja" but we stay in the top echelon of the Nations League, unlike World Cup finalists Croatia who slip down to League B along with traditional powerhouse Germany. Spain need to learn a lesson from what was an excellent start to this new competition rather than be bystanders in a final game where the team had no input to the eventual outcome. Having said all that, credit to UEFA with the invention of this new competition which has managed to generate excitement where before we were faced with meaningless friendly games. Group 4 of League A epitomised this, when any of the participating teams could have qualified for the finals with the loser of yesterday's game facing relegation. The results, sadly means that Spain now face the monotony that is the qualifying process ahead of the next major competition in Euro 2020.
Kane's goal dampened spirits somewhat with the later Spain vs Bosnia match in Las Palmas game being poorly attended. The first half was dire and fortunately was compensated by an improvement after the interval. Isco and Asensio started to control the game assisted by an excellent Fornals with debutante Brais Mendez bagging the winner. I liked the pairing of Llorente and Hermoso and Rodrigo Hernandez once again was assured in the central role and is destined to be a trusty back-up for Sergio Busquets. The next key date for the Spanish national team is December 2nd as the draw will be made for the qualifying groups for Euro 2020 but the underlying feeling is that there is still plenty of work ahead for Luis Enrique.