Del Bosque faced with a dilemma as Nolito stakes a claim for Euros
VICENTE DEL BOSQUE, the Spain manager, was given a welcome dilemma as striker Nolito made a strong case for a slot in their Euro 2016 squad with a double in Switzerland which sunk 10-man Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In a match with few punches pulled, Emir Spahic pulled one back after Nolito’s brace before being sent off for violent conduct before half time. Chelsea forward Pedro then sealed the win deep into injury time with a tap-in.
With several key players in Champions League final action for Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid on Saturday night, the match provided players like Nolito an opportunity to impress, and having failed to score in any of his six previous outings for Spain the striker managed two goals in the first 20 minutes, with Cesc Fabregas getting an assist on both.
Hamburg stopper Spahic cut the arrears before the break but was sent for an early bath after raising his hands to Fabregas. Substitute Pedro later slotted home at the death.
Elsewhere, Slovakia sent a curveball at World champions Germany’s Euros preparations with an emphatic 3-1 win in torrential conditions in Augsburg.
On-loan Fiorentina striker Mario Gomez had put Joachim Loew’s men ahead but Slovakia skipper Marek Hamsik and Michal Duris turned the scoreline over before the break.
The second half was late in coming with stormy conditions threatening the match’s conclusion, but the Slovakians came out undeterred and Juraj Kucka made it three to send shockwaves to Loew as he decides on his star-studded 23-man squad for France.