Spain beats China 1-0 in last warm-up before Euros

Spain midfielders Andres Iniesta and David Silva combined to

score a late goal in a 1-0 victory over a stubborn China on Sunday

in the team’s last warm-up before defending its European

Championship title.

Iniesta jumped on a loose ball inside China’s half and scurried

into the area before passing to Silva for the 84th-minute winner

that gave the World Cup champions their 25th straight victory at


A disjointed first-half display by Spain filled with turnovers

gave way to a more fluid performance after the break when Iniesta

and Silva took control of the attack. Fernando Torres also created

chances but was denied several times by standout goalkeeper Zeng


”Tactically we played well,” said China coach Jose Antonio

Camacho, who previously led Spain. ”But they were superior. If we

played someone else we wouldn’t have lost.”

Spain’s 23-man squad was finally together with nine players in

total from Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao having missed back-to-back

friendly wins over Serbia and South Korea because of the Copa del

Rey final.

Spain’s first match at Euro 2012 is against Italy next Sunday.

The team also faces Ireland and Croatia in Group C.

Despite Spain’s superior talent, China started strongly but

failed to take advantage of several uncharacteristic turnovers from

the hosts’ midfielders. Xabi Alonso turned the ball over in the

eighth minute to set up Zheng Zhi, who wasted a notable chance.

China, ranked 66th, pressured high up the pitch and clogged the

midfield to try and frustrate Spain’s passing game. Silva managed

to find Alvaro Negredo for two chances, but the striker couldn’t


Spain’s defense was also troubled by China’s speed. Goalkeeper

Iker Casillas, who has now won a record 96 times in 131

internationals, stopped Hao Junmin’s dipping shot before sticking

his feet out to deny Zheng in the 29th.

Iniesta replaced Xavi Hernandez and immediately linked well with

Silva, Zeng tipping over his rising shot in the 54th before saving

Silva’s angled attempt. Navas provided pace from the flank to open

up space for Torres, who flicked on a corner that defender Raul

Albiol headed against the crossbar in the 62nd.

Iniesta hit the post with a chip soon after following some deft

control before Torres, who had replaced Negredo, missed twice and

had two chances saved by Zheng.

Zheng saved from Silva in the 76th and then Iniesta, who found

his stylish midfield partner inside the box to score only moments


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