|International Matches - Under 21|
Spain 2 - Ukraine 0
Valdés; Angel, Pablo, Jarque, Asier Del Horno (David García 87');
Arzu, Arteta; Valdo, Jorge (Iniesta 84'), Riera, Portillo (Rubén Castro
Group 6 table:
Condomina stadium, Murcia. Spain's under 21 side assured themselves of first place in their group with a 2-0 win over Ukraine. Juan Santiesteban's side are now four points clear of second placed Greece with one game to play, and their names will definitely be going in to the draw for the final qualifying round later this year. The manager and his colleague Armando Ufarte were missing three of their star players, Fernando Torres, Reyes and Xabi Alonso all being called up for the full international squad, and Portillo was given the number nine shirt in their absence. And the Real Madrid striker had a hand in the opening goal, his shot on the turn being blocked by a defender and bouncing over to Valdo for him to volley the ball into the net. Valdo himself could have easily increased the lead a few minutes later, this time his effort from Del Horno's cross flashing just past the post.
Ukraine made a double substitution at half time and suddenly they were back in the match. Víctor Valdés had to make a spectacular one handed save to stop Rosov's long shot from going in, and only a minute later he was in action again to save a tricky overhead kick from Bielik. The Ukraine number nine had been having a battle royal with Spain's Pablo, and both were lucky to stay on the park after a couple of off-the-ball incidents. Spain gradually won back control though, and after Arteta had skimmed the bar with a long shot, substitute Rúben Castro put the score beyond doubt when he was the quickest to pick up the rebound after his own shot had hit the foot of the post. With the game in the bag, the managers gave Iniesta and David García a first run out at this level. Torres and Reyes were not missed, for now at least.