International Matches - Under 21

Portugal (1) 1 - Spain (2) 0

Spain: Reina; Varela, Jusué, Lopo, Angel; Xaxi (Xisco 77'), Marchena; Gallardo (Joaquín 64'), Yeste (Colsa 64'), Vicente; Pablo Couñago. 4-2-3-1.

1-0. 76. Hugo Leal. Ran on to long ball to shoot across Reina from edge of area.

A second half goal by ex Atlético Madrid midfielder Hugo Leal knocked Spain out of the under 21 European championship finals on the away goals rule. Iñaki Saez made three changes from the first leg, changing to a formation with one up front, with Yeste coming in for Guayre, Reina returning in goal for Aranzubia and Gallardo replacing the suspended Gabri. With a one goal advantage from the first leg in Jaén three days ago, Spain were obviously going for the scoreless draw, preferring to defend rather than risk anything in attack. The best chances fell to their defenders, with Jusué almost catching out Portuguese keeper Leite from a corner and Lopo heading wide after the break, and only Simao created any danger for the home side.

But it was a dangerous game, and Hugo Leal found the crack in the defence to put his side through thanks to Postiga's away goal in the first leg. Spain were reduced to ten men with five minutes to go when Pablo Couñago lashed out at Tonel in front of the referee, but they had their best moments of the match after that, with Leite saving the day with spectacular stops from Vicente, Joaquín and Lopo in the dying minutes. It was only the second time that Spain had failed to qualify for the finals in 20 years, and was the end of an era for many of the Spanish players, who will be too old to continue at this level in the future. (13.11.01)