Spain 3 - Germany 1
(Cañizares 83'); Michel Salgado, Puyol, César (Iván
Helguera 46'), Aranzábal; Albelda, Baraja (Xavi 74'); Joaquín
(Etxeberría 69'), Raúl (José Marí 83'), Vicente;
Diego Tristán (Guti 74'). 4-2-3-1.
We were hoping to have our usual report from Borja Pantzov and Goran Arsic, but having gone to Mallorca few days earlier to "sample the atmosphere" in the large German community who are resident on the island, we haven't heard from them since. Our friends in the local police force on the island did tell us that there were two people in their cells fitting their description who had been picked up comatose from the floor of a German bar in Palma, but that surely couldn't be them (could it?). While we continue our search, we have asked our regular reporter to give us his write up of the game.
Spain won the world cup semi-final that never was, beating Germany 3-1 in this friendly game in Mallorca's San Moix stadium. Deprived of a place in history by some controversial refereeing decisions this summer, Iñaki Sáez's side showed what might have been with some clinical finishing inspired by their young captain Raúl. The Real Madrid striker set a new all-time record for Spain with his thirtieth goal for his country on the half hour mark, producing a magisterial first touch from Baraja's long pass to give himself time to beat Kahn with an angled shot. Germany equalised somewhat fortunately before the break when Bobic deflected the ball past Casillas with his thigh after a Schneider corner was headed off Jeremies by Wörms, but Raúl restored the lead with a second half penalty when he himself was brought down by Wörms after the break. Substitute Guti added a third after Xavi's pass was deflected into his path ten minutes from the end, giving Spain the boost they needed before next month's Euro 2004 qualifier in the Ukraine.