Eric García picks up the ball after Spain scored a last-minute equaliser against the Czech Republic. / REUTERS

Spain draw with Czech Republic in the Nations League, by the skin of their teeth

A late equaliser ensured that La Roja picked up at least one point against a home side that knew how to take advantage of their visitors' defensive weaknesses

ÓSCAR BELLOT

Spain only just grabbed a point on Sunday night as they saw out a 2-2 draw with the Czech Republic in Prague in their second Nations League game. Íñigo Martínez's last-minute header was enough for Spain to avoid losing against a home side that found it easy to exploit the Spanish defence.

Luis Enrique made a total of eight changes from their previous game, a 1-1 draw against Portugal. The only players to keep their place were Unai Simón, Gavi and Sarabia.

The Czech Republic's goals made it clear that Spain have a serious problem when defending, as their blandness at the back makes it easy for any well-worked team to have clear cut chances.

Pesek was the one to open the scoring within five minutes. The striker finished off a counterattack that Spain failed to deal with properly, their defence unable to successfully commit to the offside trap.

Gavi scored La Roja's first equaliser of the evening on the brink of half-time. The 17-year-old became Spain's youngest scorer when he slotted a powerful, low shot into the back of the net from just inside the box.

Last minute rescue

Spain's leveller was beneficial to the team and they began to breathe more easily. The Spaniard were inching closer to taking the lead but at the expense of suffering more in defence.

Just when it seemed more and more likely that La Roja were going to take the lead, the hosts once again took advantage of a weak Spanish backline. A long ball fell to the feet of Kuchta, who was given acres of space by Eric Garcia, and it was enough for him to put the ball past Unai Simón.

Íñigo Martínez came to Spain's rescue in the dying seconds of the match, his powerful header enough to keep Luis Enrique's men in the fight for a place in the Nations League's Final Four.

Spain next play Switzerland away from home on Thursday at 8.45pm, before finishing the season with a match at La Rosaleda on Sunday at 8.45pm.