International Soccer -- and an under strength Spanish team defeated fellow World Cup qualifiers Italy two-one in Madrid on Wednesday (25 January).
International Soccer -- and an under strength Spanish team defeated fellow World Cup qualifiers Italy two-one in Madrid on Wednesday (25 January). The match -- a 'friendly' -- gave both teams the chance to warm up for the World Cup finals, due to start in Argentina on June 1st. However the Italian side lacked many of its established stars, their place taken by younger inexperienced players.
SYNOPSIS: Despite the fact that four of their key players were missing through injury, the Spaniards -- playing in red -- attacked from the start. Determined midfield play and some good running down the left wing by number 11, Maranon, soon put pressure on Conti the stand-in Italian goalkeeper.
When the Italians launched their own attacks, they found the Spanish defence -- missing its experienced Real Madrid players -- solid and quick to counter-attack.
In the tenth minute the Spaniards had their first major break-through, a penalty. Pirri made no mistake from the spot...much to the delight of the 25,000 spectators.
The Italians came back into the game towards the end of the first half. Yet despite tight pressure on the Spanish defence they failed to find the net, and went in at half-time trailing one goals to nil.
Spurred on by their one goal advantage, the Spaniards' confidence grew allowing them to open up their attack in the second half. They were unlucky not to increase their lead further...and tested the Italian keeper with some long range shooting.
Fifty-five minutes into the match the Spaniards struck again. Number 7, Dani took advantage of the space given to him in the penalty area making it two-nil.
The Italians pulled one back seven minutes from the end, Tardelli one of their more experienced players shooting low into the goal.
Desperate to equalise, the Italians attacked in strength. But the Spanish defence proved strong to the end.