|International Matches - Under 21|
Belgium 1 - Spain 0
Vandelannoite, Lombaerts, Monteyne, Vermaelen; De Man, De Cuelaer (De Mul 78'),
Haroun (Wuytens 85'), Martens; De Smet (Detal 63'), Yulu-Matono. 4-4-2.
Spain's under 21 side are on the brink of missing out on next summer's European Championship after losing their penultimate group game to Belgium. Iñaki Sáez put out a side packed with first division experience, finding room for Arsenal's Cesc on the right of midfield and preferring Kepa up front to Llorente or Soldado. But the youngsters were unable to break down a well-ordered defence, and they went in at the break with the scoreboard unmoved.
The game opened up at the beginning of the second half, Riesgo having to save from Haroun and Silva trying to find Kepa rather than shoot himself when free in front of goal. Sáez decided to make a double change to bring on Juanfran and Llorente, but only a couple of minutes later Belgium got what was to be the only goal of the game, a wide free kick from Lombaerts coming back off the post allowing Vermaelen to find the net and ensure a place in the play-offs for his side.
Up to that point Spain had been closest to scoring, and Iniesta almost equalised when he hit the post just three minutes after Belgium's goal. Llorente also had a couple of chances, the first firing Juanfran's cross over the bar and the second seeing keeper Verbauwhede make an excellent save. But it was not to be, and Spain ended the day in third position behind their hosts and Serbia. Their only hope now of qualifying is to beat San Marino next Tuesday and hope Serbia fail to win against Bosnia in their last home match, otherwise for the second time in a row they will not be taking part in the finals.