Spain won their opening game in the World Cup finals for the first time since 1950 to finally lay the ghost. For once the draw was kind to them and threw them together with debutantes Slovenia, who they had already beaten in the Euro 2000 championships.
Camacho found room for Valerón, Raúl and Diego Tristán in his starting line up, and it was Raúl who silenced his critics with an opening goal on the stroke of half time, picking up a loose ball after Luis Enrique had been tackled to slip off his marker and slide an angled shot under the keeper.
Valerón added a second with a quarter of an hour to go after a defence splitting cross from De Pedro, but Slovenia gave the Spanish fans a fright when substitute Cimerotic burst through to beat Casillas nine minutes from the end.
However a dubious late penalty by Gajser on Morientes enabled Hierro to make it 3-1 from the spot and put Spain on the road to the second round. (02.06.02)