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Friendly international

Spain 2 - Argentina 1

Spain: Casillas (Reina 88'); Raúl Albiol, Piqué, Puyol (Raúl Albiol 46'), Capdevila; Sergio Busquets, Xabi Alonso, Xavi (Fábregas 61'); Iniesta (Jesús Navas 82'), David Villa (Mata 82'), David Silva (Negredo 66'). 4-3-3.
Argentina: Romero, Coloccini, Demichelis, Ansaldi, Heinze; Gago (Cambiasso 74'), Mascherano; Maxi Rodríguez (Lavezzi 83'), Messi (Perotti 83'), Di María; Higuaín (Tévez 58'). 4-2-3-1.

1-0. 16. Xabi Alonso. Following up after Romero pushed out Silva's shot.
1-1. 61. Messi (penalty). After Albiol brought down Maxi inside penalty area.
2-1. 86. Xabi Alonso (penalty). After De Michelis handled inside area.

Spain started their preparations for next summer's World Cup with a 2-1 victory over a physical Argentina in Atlético Madrid's Vicente Calderón stadium. The match coincided with the Spanish Federation's centenary celebrations, and Del Bosque put out a first choice line up, Casillas also making his 100th appearance for the national side in this match.

"La selección" got off to a good start, Xabi Alonso opening the scoring with a quarter of an hour gone after a quick passing moving ended with Romero only pushing David Silva's shot in to the path of the Real Madrid midfielder. And they could have been further ahead had referee Alan Kelly not turned down two penalty appeals, one after Coloccini handled in the area and one after Villa was brought down.

Di María and Higuaín both went close either side of half time though, and with an hour on the clock Diego Maradona's side were awarded a penalty after Raúl Albiol's brought down Maxi. Messi converted the spot kick, but Spain were awarded their own penalty with four minutes to go after De Michelis blocked Xabi Alonso's cross with his arm, and Alonso fired home the kick himself.

Other than that there were international debuts for Sevilla's Jesús Navas and Perotti near the end, and Del Bosque brought off Casillas as well with two minutes to go so the crowd could give the keeper the applause he so richly deserved. A night of celebrations and, who knows, a preview of next summer's final in Johannesburg?