Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football

Iago Aspas wants Tunisia win to act as a World Cup lift for Spain

The Celta Vigo striker scored the only goal in a 1-0 win in Krasnodar.

Iago Aspas hopes his match-winning strike in Spain’s final World Cup warm-up match against Tunisia will build confidence heading into the tournament.

Spain secured a 1-0 victory over England’s opening opponents as Aspas came off the bench to fire home with just five minutes remaining.

Julen Lopetegui’s side laboured to a 1-1 draw with Switzerland last weekend and needed a late winner from Celta Vigo forward Aspas to beat Tunisia in Krasnador.

They head into their heavyweight Group B opener with rivals Portugal next Friday not in the best form – but with Aspas wanting to use this latest win as a morale boost.

“It’s a victory that will build confidence,” the 30-year-old told reporters after the game.

“I don’t think we’ve been as solid with the ball as we wanted.

“I think we had better performances in qualification than in these two matches.

“We really want to start the World Cup with a good taste in our mouths.”

Aspas was the top-scoring Spaniard in LaLiga last season as he hit 22 goals, but he is set to be on the bench in Sochi next week.

There have been plenty of calls for the former Liverpool man to start after he was picked in the squad ahead of the likes of Alvaro Morata.

Rodrigo Moreno was the only striker to start against Tunisia with Diego Costa and Aspas coming off the bench to combine for the goal.

“Playing with two forwards would be a decision for the coach,” he added. “I’m simply trying to take advantage of the opportunities I’m given.”

Lopetegui was asked about whether he would opt to field two strikers during the World Cup and suggested it is an option for the nation moving forward.

“Sometimes it’s good to play with two up and three back, as happened today,” he said.

“We’ve done it on other occasions and it’s been good, it’s a solution that has worked for us today and it can be an argument for some moments of some of our games, or even from the start.”


From Belfast Telegraph