Spain captain Sergio Ramos missed two penalties but teammate Gerard Moreno came off the bench to grab a late equaliser and snatch a 1-1 draw away to Switzerland in the Nations League on Saturday.
The result relegated Switzerland and Spain lose top spot in Group A4 to Germany, who earned a 3-1 win over Ukraine and lead the standings with nine points.
Spain are second with eight and must win Tuesday’s showdown at home to Joachim Loew’s side in order to progress to the final four.
Ramos, who also became the most capped European player of all time, had scored all of his previous 25 penalties but was thwarted when Yann Sommer guessed the right way and repelled his spot kick in the 58th minute to preserve Switzerland’s lead.
The hosts had taken the lead in the 23rd minute through a brilliant strike on the half volley from Remo Frueler and could have doubled their advantage in the second half when Haris Seferovic rounded keeper Unai Simon, but Ramos came to his side’s rescue and got back to clear the shot off the line.
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Spain then earned a second penalty in the 79th which led to Swiss defender Nico Elvedi being sent off for a second booking.
However, Ramos was again outwitted by Sommer, who could not be fooled by the defender’s chipped ‘Panenka’ penalty and caught the ball. It’s the first time Spain have missed two penalties in one match.
Substitute Moreno saved Ramos’ blushes in the 89th minute, lashing home a cross from Sergio Reguilon as Spain finally found a way past Sommer after firing 20 shots at goal to Switzerland’s seven.
“Football is like this, it’s a marvellous sport but sometimes it’s very unfair,” said Spain coach Luis Enrique.
“We were lacking a bit of freshness but I think we played well even though we couldn’t do the most difficult thing, which is to score. We deserved to win for our first half performance and for how we played in the second.”