International Matches - Under 18

Meridian Cup

As losing finalists of the European under 17 tournament last season, Spain qualified once again to play in the Meridian Cup. The competition is played every two years between the top four youth sides from Europe and Africa, with the venue for this year's competition being Turkey. This year there was an overwhelming victory for European sides, with Spain, France and Turkey winning all their games and only Portugal dropping points in draws with Egypt and Sierra Leone. (11.02.05)

Spain 3 - Sierra Leone 0

Spain: Adán; Barragán, Lombán, Mateos, Pepe; Mario, Julio (Israel 85'); Carmona, Javi García (Agirretxe 60'), Marcos (Diego Capel 75'); Marc Pedraza. 4-2-3-1.

Goals: 1-0. 07. Mario; 2-0. 39. Carmona (Pen); 3-0. 89. Carmona.

04/02/05. A comfortable victory for Spain in their opening game, with Mario Súarez putting his side ahead early on and Carmona adding a second before the break from the penalty spot after he himself was brought down. The African side had two players sent off in the second half including their keeper for handling outside of the area, and Carmona wrapped things up with his second of the night in the last minute.

Spain 4 - Cameroon 0

Spain: Mandaluniz; Barragán, Lombán, Mateos, Dani; Mario, Beñat; Israel, Javi García (Marc Pedraza 60'), Diego Capel (Marcos 85'); Rayco (Agirretxe 70'). 4-2-3-1.

Goals: 1-0. 37. Lombán; 2-0. 44. Javi García; 3-0. 45. Rayco; 4-0. 82. Israel.

06/02/05. Another big win for Juan Santiesteban's side, which contained five changes from the first match as the manager rested some of his players. It took some time to get going, but three goals in eight minutes gave them an unassailable lead by the break. The two centre backs combined to open the scoring following a corner, Mateos crossing in for Lombán to head past Goda. Javi García poked home a second after the keeper dropped a Mario header at his feet, and a minute later Rayco got ahead of the defence to turn in Israel's cross. And Israel wrapped things up with a fourth goal late on after Marc Pedraza set him up.

Spain 1 - Egypt 0

Spain: Adán; Barragán (Beñat 86'), Lombán, Mateos, Dani; Carmona, Julio, Javi García, Marcos; Marc Pedraza (Diego Capel 65'), Agirretxe. 4-4-2.

Goals: 1-0. 44. Carmona.

08/02/05. Spain won their third match in the tournament, although it was harder work than in their previous two games despite playing against ten men for almost fifty minutes. Javi García and Agirretxe both tested the African keeper early on, but Adán was also in action at the other end in the opening minutes. Five minutes before the break though Farahat was sent off for a second bookable offence, and Carmona curled home a free kick just a couple of minutes later for the eventual winner.

Spain 1 - Nigeria 0

Spain: Mandaluniz; Barragán, Beñat, Mateos, Pepe; Mario, Julio (Carmona 62'); Israel, Javi García, Diego Capel (Marcos 77'); Rayco (Agirretxe 50'). 4-2-3-1.

Goals: 1-0. 55. Mateos.

11/02/05. Spain's winning streak in this competition continued, and they stretched their unbeaten run to 17 games over eight years after beating Nigeria in their last match. Once again though it was not an easy victory, with the Africans holding their own in an even first half and keepers Mandaluniz and Odah both called upon a number of times. Real Madrid's Mateos headed the only goal of the game from Israel's corner in the second half though to make it four wins in a row, sharing top spot in the league table with France and hosts Turkey. Spain were the only side in the tournament who did not let in a goal.

Spanish squad