Spain v Argentina – story of the match
Spain extended their unbeaten run under coach Julen Lopetegui to 18 matches.
Isco scored a hat-trick as Spain romped to a 6-1 victory over Argentina in Madrid, where Lionel Messi again watched from the stands.
Barcelona playmaker Messi had been expected to return after missing Friday’s 2-0 win over Italy in Manchester as a precaution because of an abductor muscle injury, but did not feature at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
After Gonzalo Higuain shot wide early on, Diego Costa fired Spain ahead in the 13th minute, before Real Madrid man Isco struck either side of a header from Argentina defender Nicolas Otamendi.
Thiago Alcantara added a fourth, with substitute Iago Aspas also on the scoresheet before Isco netted his third on 74 minutes.
Tweet of the match:
No Messi, no party. pic.twitter.com/C4kQqSMB0d— DEPORTV (@canaldeportv) March 27, 2018
Argentine public television channel DeporTV sums up the feelings of a nation
Moment of the match:
Substitute Iago Aspas had not been on long when, early in the second half, he was sent clear by Andres Iniesta. The Celta Vigo forward drew Willy Caballero out wide on the right, before cutting the ball back to Isco, who coolly rolled it into the net.
Spain converted all six of their shots on target, while Diego Costa has now scored six goals in his last six starts.
Real Madrid man Isco stole the show with an all action display of which Messi would have been proud as he took home the match ball.
Spain: David de Gea 6 (out of 10), Dani Carvajal 7, Gerard Pique 7, Sergio Ramos 6, Jordi Alba 7, Thiago Alcantara 7, Koke 7, Andres Iniesta 7, Marco Asensio 8, Diego Costa 7, Isco 9.
Substitutes: Iago Aspas (for Costa, 46) 8, Saul (for Iniesta, 56) 6, Cesar Azpilicueta (for Pique, 71) 6, Lucas Vazquez (for Isco, 76) 6, Marcos Alonso (for Alba, 79) 6, Dani Parejo (for Thiago, 82) 6.
Argentina: Sergio Romero 6 (out of 10), Fabricio Bustos 5, Nicolas Otamendi 6, Marcos Rojo 4, Nicolas Tagliafico 5, Javier Mascherano 5, Lucas Biglia 5, Maximiliano Meza 7, Ever Banega 5, Giovani Lo Celso 5, Gonzalo Higuain 5.
Substitutes: Willy Caballero (for Romero, 23) 4, Cristian Pavon (for Mascherano, 56) 4, Pablo Perez (for Higuain, 59) 5, Gabriel Mercado (for Bustos, 62) 5, Marcos Acuna (for Lo Celso, 83) 5.
Who’s up next?
Israel v Argentina (June 8)
Spain v Switzerland (June 2)