Spain 2 - Canada 1
Spain: Reina; Sergio
Ramos, Pablo, Juanito, Antonio López; Luis García (Vicente 68'),
Orbaiz (Xabi Alonso 46'), De la Peña (Xavi 75'), Luque (Joaquín
55'); Tamudo (Morientes 55'), Fernando Torres (Raúl 55'). 4-4-2.
Spain beat Canada 2-1 in a warm up for next Wednesday's World Cup qualifier. Luis Aragonés used the occasion to give a run out to all his second choice players but they failed to impress, despite taking the lead with an early headed goal by Tamudo from Luque's long cross. They created few chances for the rest of the first half though, and their opponents (for whom Deportivo's De Guzman played throughout) gained in confidence as the game wore on, with Fulham's Radxinski bringing an excellent save out of Reina on the stroke of half time.
Aragonés started with the substitutions at the break, and gradually replaced his midfield and attack with the six players who are expected to start against Serbia. Espanyol's Tamudo and De la Peña both had pots at goal before they were eventually replaced, but it was not until the big guns came on that Spain scored again, Morientes getting his 25th for his country after Stamatopoulos could only push out De la Peña's through ball under pressure from Raúl.
Canada didn't give up though, and substitute Grande pulled one back just a few minutes later, latching on to a sloppy clearance by Juanito to drive the ball wide of Reina. Serioux could have levelled the scores soon afterwards when he burst through only to shoot into the side netting, but Raúl could have extended the lead at the other end with a little more luck, the keeper stopping two efforts in a minute and then Hutchinson deflecting another effort from the Real Madrid forward against the bar.
The last chance of the game though fell to the North Americans, Placentino shooting just wide shortly before the final whistle. It was a sign to Aragonés that his side must not be complacent, and with Serbia winning against Lithuania today to go two points clear at the top of the table, Spain now need a victory on Wednesday to be in line for an automatic place in the finals.