Spain feel the seven year itch in Slovakia

European champions fail to win an away qualifer for the first time in seven years

Euro 2016 qualifiers: Spain crashed to a shock defeat after substitute Miroslav Stoch nodded a late goal to earn Slovakia a 2-1 victory in Euro 2016 Group C qualifying tonight.

A powerful, swerving free kick from Juraj Kucka in the 17th minute that deceived goalkeeper Iker Casillas put the hosts ahead and Spain struggled to find a way past inspired home goalkeeper Matus Kozacik despite dominating possession.

Substitute Paco Alcacer levelled eight minutes from time but any hopes the visitors had of snatching a winner were shattered when Stoch headed past Casillas in the 87th.

Slovakia, who won 1-0 in Ukraine in their opening qualifier last month, top the group on a maximum six points and Spain have three after they began their campaign with a 5-1 win at home to Macedonia.


In Group G, Ola Toivonen's second-half goal crowned a gutsy fight back to give Sweden a 1-1 draw with Russia at the Friends Arena in Stockholm.

Russia took the lead in the 10th minute when Alexsandr Kokorin surged through the middle before cutting back onto his right foot and rolling the ball tantalisingly through the legs of a defender and past the despairing dive of Andreas Isaksson.

Sweden wasted the perfect opportunity to equalise three minutes later when Jimmy Durmaz was upended in the box by Igor Smolnikov, but keeper Igor Akinfeev threw himself to his right to push away Sebastian Larsson’s well-struck penalty.

In for the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Toivonen pulled Sweden level in the 49th minute, turning home Durmaz’s low cross before being replaced by Johan Elmander eight minutes later after injuring a hamstring.

And in Group E Slovenia enjoyed a smash-and-grab 1-0 home win over Switzerland after the visitors were frustrated by superb goalkeeping from Samir Handanovic.

Milivoje Novakovic drilled in a spot-kick in the 79th minute, after Johan Djourou brought down substitute Kevin Kampl with a clumsy challenge, to give Slovenia the lead against the run of play.

The result left Slovenia on three points from two games in Group E while the Swiss, who lost 2-0 at home to England in their opener, have plenty of work to do to finish in the top two and secure an automatic berth for the 24-nation finals.