Spain lose 66-game record they have been building up since 1993 in Sweden defeat

Spain slumped to a 2-1 defeat away at Sweden on Thursday night, bringing their 66-game and 28-year unbeaten World Cup qualifying run to an end.

Luis Enrique's men came up short in Stockholm despite storming into an early lead, with Valencia ace Carlos Soler breaking the deadlock after four minutes.

However, it only took Sweden a minute to cancel out that opener and draw level through Real Sociedad's Alexander Isak, before Krasnodar's Viktor Claesson netted what proved the winner for the hosts 12 minutes into the second half.

It was a disappointing evening for Spain, who now trail Sweden by two points at the top of qualifying Group B having played a game more.

The defeat was also their first in World Cup qualifying for an astonishing 66 matches, with their last coming against Sweden's neighbours Denmark in Copenhagen all the way back in 1993.

La Roja had won a total of 52 World Cup qualifiers and drawn the other 14 since that loss against the Danes.

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They may need to contest a playoff to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, with only group winners receiving an automatic place at the tournament.

After suffering their first qualifying defeat in 28 years on Thursday, Enrique was highly critical of his side's performance in midfield and defence.

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"In terms of attitude, I have no reproach for my players," the Spain boss said.

"It is clear that we lost many duels in defence and midfield, we allowed our opponents to run, but we created opportunities to score more goals.

"The cruel thing is that 10 seconds after scoring, we conceded Isak's goal that made us doubt."

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Next up for Spain are further World Cup qualifiers at home to Georgia on Sunday and away at Kosovo next Wednesday.

Kosovo picked up a 1-0 win over Georgia on Thursday night to move to within four points of Spain with a game-in-hand still to play.

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