Spain captain Sergio Ramos missed two penalty kicks as they drew 1-1 with Switzerland in the UEFA Nations League on Saturday.
Gerard Moreno came off the bench to grab a late equaliser for Switzerland to earn the draw.
The result relegated Switzerland while Spain lost 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 points and must win Tuesday’s showdown at home to Joachim Loew’s side in order to progress to the final four.
Ramos became the most capped European player of all time with his cap against Switzerland. Also, he had scored all of his previous 25 penalty kicks. But he was thwarted when Yann Sommer guessed the right way and repelled his penalty 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. They could have doubled their advantage in the second half when Haris Seferovic rounded goalkeeper Unai Simon.
But Ramos came to his side’s rescue and got back to clear the shot off the line.
Spain then earned a second penalty kick in the 79th minute 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 kick and caught the ball.
It is the first time Spain have missed two penalty kicks 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. This was 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.”