|International Matches - Under 21|
Austria 2 - Spain 1
Gaspar, Marchena, Boris, Asier Del Horno (Xisco 70'); Orbaiz, Colsa (Yeste
60'); Gallardo, Xavi, Vicente; Pablo Couñago (Aganzo 60'). 4-2-3-1.
At long last Spain's 32 match unbeaten run in official competitions has come to an end. After a five year period in which they have only lost two friendly games, the under 21 side were defeated by a hard Austria side who put up the shutters after they had a man sent off twenty minutes from time. The game was played in Eggenberg on a small ground with only one stand in front of a crowd of only 500 persons, most of whom were youngsters. Manager Iñaki Saez opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation, bringing in Oviedo's Boris for his first cap and also including Gaspar and Coira in the starting line up. Spain dominated the early part of the game and opened the scoring in the tenth minute through Celta's Pablo Couñago after Gallardo set him up from the right. The match started to degenerate from there on though, with the Austrian players going in hard on tackles and Spain taking the bait. Five minutes from half time Del Horno was adjudged by referee Kenny Clark to have brought down Austria's most dangerous forward Linz in the penalty area, and the forward scored from the spot himself. Shortly after half time Linz added the second after a lapse of concentration by the Spanish defence, and a few minutes later Saez changed Colsa and Pablo for Yeste and Aganzo. Austria's manager Ruttensteiner brought on Brandmayer, but he only lasted 60 seconds before being sent off for a hard tackle, and Saez took advantage to introduce another attacking player Xisco for a defender. After Aganzo fluffed a shot with only the keeper to beat, Marchena moved up to join the attack, and the Benfica defender almost snatched a draw with a shot against the crossbar as the game moved into injury time. The final 2-1 result complicates things now for Spain as they stay on six points from three games, with France taking six from two and Austria now on three points from their two games. Pending their upcoming game, Bosnia and Israel are currently without a point. The next match is in March against France at home.