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FIFA World Cup 2018: Spain labour to narrow win over Tunisia in warm-up game; France held by USA

KrasnodarRussia: Spain laboured to a narrow 1-0 victory over Tunisia in an underwhelming World Cup warm-up in Krasnodar on Saturday.

The 2010 champions remain unbeaten under coach Julen Lopetegui, who took over 20 matches ago after the Roja's elimination from Euro 2016 in the last 16 at the hands of Italy.

Spain required a 85th minute winner from Iago Aspas to edge past Tunisia in World Cup warm-up game. AP

Spain required a 85th minute winner from Iago Aspas to edge past Tunisia in World Cup warm-up game. AP

Iago Aspas scored the only goal against fellow World Cup qualifiers Tunisia seven minutes from the end.

But Lopetegui's search for a consistent centre-forward was made no clearer despite a solid showing from Brazil-born Diego Costa.

The Atletico Madrid forward set up Aspas's winner and was a nuisance throughout for the Africans' defenders.

Spain dominated the ball but allowed Tunisia some good scoring chances.

Spain begin their Group B campaign against European champions Portugal on June 15 while Tunisia face England in Group G three days later.

Pogba improves but France held 1-1 by US

Paul Pogba put in an improved performance but France looked flat in a 1-1 World Cup warm-up draw against the United States in Lyon on Saturday.

Julian Green gave the US, who failed to make it to Russia, the lead on the stroke of half-time but teenage starlet Kylian Mbappe equalised for the hosts.

Pogba had been jeered a week ago in a 3-1 victory over Italy but it was his pass that teed up Mbappe to save face for the Euro 2016 finalists in a match they were expected to win.

With perhaps one eye on their opening World Cup clash

against Australia, 2-1 winners over Hungary earlier in the day, on 16 June, France were pedestrian for long periods.

"We lacked a bit of juice. But we created enough chances to win," said coach Didier Deschamps on TF1.

"But that's the way it goes, against a young United States team that was very generous, who didn't leave us a lot of space and tried to defend well."

Crucially, though, Pogba battled hard defensively, took charge offensively and played some clever passes.

France will expect more of the same in Russia.


Updated Date: Jun 10, 2018 08:55 AM

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