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Internationals: Fabregas fires Spain to victory

Cesc Fabregas scored the winning goal as Spain recovered from conceding early on to beat Costa Rica at home.

The match in Leon was a friendly ahead of Sunday’s Euro 2016 qualifier away in Belarus, and it tested the reigning European champions when their Central American opposition scored after only five minutes.

Valenica’s Paco Alcacer levelled just two minutes later, Fabregas continuing the fine form we witnessed at club level as he provided the assist.

He created more chances, Koke having a shot saved from one, before Spain took the lead with half-an-hour played. Fabregas found the bottom corner with a close-range finish following a typical passing move. It is his 14th international goal on his 96th appearance.  

In the second half, the Chelsea man had a corner headed over by David Silva before he was replaced by Isco with seven minutes left to play.

England Under-21s were preparing for the European Championships later this month when they hosted their equivalents from Belarus in Barnsley. Ruben Loftus-Cheek was given his England U21 debut when he was introduced at half-time in the 1-0 win. Nathaniel Chalobah was brought on with 20 minutes to go. The goal was scored late on by Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson.

Andreas Christensen and Denmark Under-21s have also qualified for the Euro finals in Czech Republic although the Chelsea defender, who will return to that squad for the tournament, didn’t play in Thursday’s warm-up match, a draw with Sweden, as he has been elevated into the senior set-up for the end-of-season internationals.

Christensen made his debut for the full Denmark side on Monday when he came on in the second half of a home friendly against Montenegro. They now play Serbia at home in a Euro 2016 qualifier on Saturday.