International Matches - Under 21

Spain under 21 side 1 - Australia under 23 side 0

Spain: Víctor Valdés (Reina 46'); Miñambres (Melli 71'), Pablo, Dani Tortolero (Jarque 46'), Asier Del Horno (Antonio López 55'); Arzu, Arteta (Corona 64'); Arriaga, Jorge (Villa 46'), Riera; Portillo (Rubén 46'). 4-2-3-1.
Australia: Jones; Fyfe, Milicevic, Tarka, Srhoj; Edds (Holman 57'), Wilkshire (Brosque 83'), Elrich, Cansdell-Sheriff; Carle (Richard García 33'), McDonald (Kennedy 57', Valeri 85'). 4-4-2.

1-0. 65. Arriaga. Took Rubén pass on right of goal and hit low shot past Jones.

Lorca. Spain's youngsters struggled to beat an Australia side two years their senior, but ended up winning thanks to a second half strike from Athletic Bilbao's Arriaga. Armando Ufarte was in charge of the side after Juan Santiesteban was called up to take over the first team from the indisposed Iñaki Sáez, and he was missing several of his key players, including Fernando Torres, Reyes, Iniesta, Mario and Angel who were all injured and Xabi Alonso, who was included in the full side for the first time. As a result the managers brought back Villa, and also included Jarque and Melli for their first appearance at under 21 level. Portillo was given the striker's spot, and Arzu came in to accompany Arteta in midfield.

It was a physical game, with the Antipodeans using their size and strength to try and intimidate their opponents early on. But the team gradually gained in confidence, and only some excellent saves by Jones kept out Portillo and Arriaga before the break. Víctor Valdés had to be at his best though ten minutes before half time to keep out an effort from McDonald. Jarque and Melli made their under 21 debuts in the second half as both managers made a series of changes, and shortly after half time substitute Rubén tested Jones again, the Las Palmas striker found Arriaga on the right of the area for him to beat the keeper at last. When Richard García headed a corner over the bar near the end the game was over, and Spain had clocked up another valuable win to boost their confidence for the upcoming European qualifiers.