Spain 3 - Ivory Coast 2
Sergio Ramos, Pablo (Juanito 80'), Puyol (Michel Salgado 46'), Antonio
López; Xabi Alonso (Marcos Senna 58'), Albelda (Morientes 69'), Cesc
Fábregas; Luis García (Joaquín 46'), Fernando Torres
(Reyes 65'), David Villa. 4-3-3.
Valladolid. Spain came from behind twice to beat the Ivory Coast 3-2 in this friendly international. With one eye on his possible World Cup squad, Luis Aragonés included 18 year old Cesc in his starting line up, the second youngest player to play for the country, and gave a first cap to Brazilian born Marcos Senna later in the game. The coach also changed his formation to mirror Barcelona's 4-3-3 system, with David Villa, Fernando Torres and Luis García all in the opening eleven.
His side fell behind though when Keita beat Casillas with just under a quarter of an hour gone, Akale's previous header coming back off Sergio Ramos. But David Villa levelled the scores midway through the first half after picking up a pass from Cesc, heading past Tizié after his first shot was blocked. And the visiting keeper had to be at his best to stop efforts from Ramos and García later in the first half.
A minute after the restart substitute Kalou restored the lead with a spectacular shot from outside of the area. And the African side could have gone further ahead when Kalou almost caught Casillas out of position with another long shot after the keeper had failed to clear properly.
The hosts pushed forward looking to equalise, and after a couple of half chances, Fernando Torres hit the post. The striker was replaced by Reyes soon afterwards, and the coach also brought on Morientes in attacking move. Within a few minutes Reyes had equalised after a cross from Antonio López was blocked, and with five minutes to go another substitute Juanito headed the winner from an Antonio López corner to make it nineteen games without defeat for Spain since Aragonés took over.