Spain's youngsters face an uphill battle to qualify for the 2004 European youth championships after losing by a single goal to Greece in their opening game. Co-managers Santiesteban and López Ufarte put out a side packed with players who have first team experience, lead by Torres and Reyes who were fresh from winning the under-19 European championships in the summer. However they were not allowed to settle on the ball by a very physical Greek side, and found themselves a goal down after Papadopoulos beat Reina on a rapid counterattack.
Spain's frustrations showed through near the end after Villa hunted down Agriitis from behind, provoking a brawl which involved almost all 22 players plus the Greek manager Manolas, who was shown the red card. With three minutes to go Spain were left with ten men after Dani Tortolero pulled down Agritis as he advanced on goal. It was all over, and Spain will have to do better if they are to repeat their earlier successes at this level. (06.09.02)