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Late Iago Aspas goal gives Spain narrow win over England’s Group G rivals Tunisia

Spain prepared for the finals with 1-0 victory over the African opponents.


Iago Aspas scored for Spain against Tunisia (Nick Potts/PA)

Iago Aspas scored for Spain against Tunisia (Nick Potts/PA)

Iago Aspas scored for Spain against Tunisia (Nick Potts/PA)

England’s opening World Cup opponents Tunisia pushed Spain all the way in a warm-up friendly before losing to a late Iago Aspas goal in Krasnador.

The Three Lions will be favourites to win their first Group G game in Russia but Tunisia showed they will be no pushover when the pair meet in Volvograd on June 18.

Nabil Maaloul’s side looked set to prepare for the tournament with an impressive draw, only for Celta Vigo striker Aspas to come off the bench and strike with five minutes remaining.

Tunisia had the first decent effort of the game as Ferjani Sassi’s strike was saved by David De Gea, before Naim Sliti fired over when well-placed.

Rodrigo Moreno and skipper Sergio Ramos came close for Spain with two chances inside a minute in what proved to be a very competitive first-half.

Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago then headed over as the teams headed in level at the interval.

Spain had been held to a 1-1 draw by Switzerland last weekend and the 2010 World Cup winners looked set to be heading into this summer’s finals in a frustrated mood.

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Diego Costa and Ramos again came close as the stalemate remained as Aspas replaced Jordi Alba with 15 minutes remaining.

The 30-year-old was the highest-scoring Spaniard in LaLiga last season with 22 goals and he came up with the deciding strike to see off Tunisia.

Mohamed Ben Amor had Tunisia’s best late chance but could not convert before Costa laid on the match-winning goal for Aspas.

The goal, just five minutes from the end of the game, gave Julen Lopetegui’s side a morale-boosting win ahead of their Group B heavyweight clash with rivals Portugal on Friday.

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