England was denied a famous win over Spain in an action-packed international friendly at Wembley, blowing a two-goal lead to finish the tie at 2-2 late on Tuesday.
While both sides fielded weakened starting XI’s, England looked the stronger side on paper at least, at kick off.
And with a lightning start, thanks to the ever-alert Jamie Vardy, the hosts got a penalty in the 8th minute itself. Adam Lallana’s perfectly weighted low cross evaded Inigo Martinez and while Vardy was forced outside due to the onrushing Pep Reina, the England striker ensured the goalkeeper made contact inside the box.
Lallana dispatched his penalty high to the keeper’s left, but despite Reina diving the right way, he could not prevent England from taking an early lead.
Billed as the match that could make interim manager Gareth Southgate permanent should his side show enough promise, England were quite impressive in attack, their speed leaving their Spanish opponents trailing in their wake.
Three minutes into the second half, England doubled their lead, Jamie Vardy heading home a looping Jordan Henderson cross to send a raucous Wembley crowd into delirium.
Spain manager Julien Lopetgui made a host of changes as he urged his side to try and salvage something from the match.
Iago Aspas, ridiculed to great extent in England during his horrid time with Liverpool, scored a great goal, dazzling John Stones with stepovers before firing a booming shot in off the post which left keeper Tom Heaton with no chance to reduced the deficit in the 89th minute.
The fourth official declared five minutes of added time and England tried to hold on, but substitute Isco, conjured something special, turning and pirouetting in the England box before he finished from an acute angle to level the tie in the 95th minute.
For both teams and their respective managers, there is plenty of scope for improvement, not least their defensive frailty but the big question is: Has Gareth Southgate done enough to convert his tenure into a permanent one?
A decision from the FA is expected in the next couple of days and with few candidates in contention, one feels Southgate may just get lucky.