Spain 1 - USA 0
Sergio Ramos, Puyol, Marchena, Capdevila (Fernando Navarro 53'); Xabi Alonso
(Marcos Senna 46'); Cazorla, Xavi, Cesc Fábregas (Arbeloa 84'), David
Silva (De la Red 67'); Fernando Torres (Güiza 46'). 4-1-4-1.
Goals: 1-0. 79. Xavi. A cracker!
A great goal from Xavi with ten minutes to go gave Spain a 1-0 win over USA in their last warm up match before the Euro 2008 finals. Otherwise though Luis Aragonés's side put in a disappointing display, raising some doubts as to whether the team are ready for the finals which begin in a few days' time. Rather than give a run out to his second string players,
Luis Aragonés stuck with his first team line up, the only changes those of Cazorla for Iniesta, who was suffering from gastric enteritis, and Fábregas for David Villa, who picked up an injury in training. But they couldn't really get going, Tim Howard only having to make a couple of easy saves from Xavi and Torres before the break.
The Americans had a couple of chances themselves in the first half, Johnson in particular having a goal disallowed and testing Casillas later on, and the players were whistled off the pitch at half time by the fans in Santander who were expecting something better
Things improved a bit after the restart, although as usual the large number of substitutions broke up the flow of the game. Navarro was the fourth member of the squad to win his first cap in the last two games, leaving keeper Palop as the only uncapped player.
Xavi hit the bar with a free kick and Senna fired a shot against the post after a quick passing move, and Xavi and Senna both brought good saves out of Guzan. But it was not until ten minutes from the end that Xavi picked up a short pass from Fábregas and cut past four defenders to slot the ball past the keeper. A fantastic goal to complete a run of sixteen games without defeat (fourteen wins and two draws), but "la selección" will have to do better in a week's time if they are to cast off the epithet of perpetual underachievers in international tournaments.