International Matches - Under 21

Spain 2 - Portugal 1

Spain: Aranzubia; Varela, Jusué, Lopo, Angel; Gabri (Gallardo 80'), Xaxi, Marchena, Vicente; Guayre (Yeste 70'), Pablo Couñago (Xisco 70'). 4-4-2.

1-0. 25. Pablo. Shot in off post after Marchena squared ball across.
1-1. 33. Helder Postiga. Chipped ball over keeper after pass from Edmilson.
2-1. 81. Xisco. Followed up after keeper blocked shot from Xavi.

Spain won their first leg match against Portugal in this European championship play off, but left themselves with a lot to do in Faro next Tuesday. Iñaki Saez picked a strong side made up almost entirely of players who are playing first division football, with Valencia's Marchena playing in his new midfield role alongside his teammate Vicente and Barcelona's Gabri and Xavi, and Las Palmas left back Angel the only player making his debut at this level.

Ipswich Town's new signing Pablo opened the scoring after Varela and Marchena combined to set him up, his sixth goal for the side, but Portugal equalised soon afterwards through Oporto's Postiga. Aranzubia saved well from ex Barcelona winger Simao just after the break, and Leite punched out Vicente's shot at the other end. Needing a victory to have a realistic chance of qualifying for next year's finals in Norway, Saez brought on fresh legs, and one of his substitutes Xisco obliged with the winning goal nine minutes from the end. (10.11.01)