If you are not a member yet, you can sign up here

Friendly international

Equatorial Guinea 1 - Spain 2

Guinea: Danilo; Akapo, Bermúdez, Mbele, Sipo; Juvenal (Belima 88'), Ellong (Eduardo Ferreira 81'); Nsue, Balboa (Bodipo 85'), Iván Bolado (Dio 46'); Fidjeu (Valeriano Nchaba 61'). 4-2-3-1.
Spain: Reina; Juanfran, Marc Bartra, Íñigo Martínez (Sergio Ramos 79'), Alberto Moreno; Cazorla (David Villa 57'), Xabi Alonso (Busquets 42'), Koke (Iniesta 57'); Jesús Navas (Pedro 66'), Negredo (Llorente 46'), Mata. 4-3-3.

0-1. 12. Cazorla. Turned ball in to empty net after Danilo dropped Mata cross.
1-1. 36. Bermúdez. Ran in to head long Juvenal corner down wide of Reina.
1-2. 43. Juanfran. Volleyed shot back in to net after keeper saved Navas cross.

With Spain already qualified for the World Cup finals, "La Roja" took advantage of the latest international break to play two friendly games in Africa, the second in South Africa where they won the World Cup for the first time some three years ago. Before that though they visited Equatorial Guinea, one of the few countries in the continent where Spanish is the official language, a decision which attracted a lot of criticism due to the poor human rights record of the local dictatorship.

Although an unprecedented meeting of the two teams, there were several familiar faces in a home line up which was managed by Andoni "The Butcher from Bilbao" Goikoetxea, including Mallorca's Emilio Nsue, who played for Spain at junior level, and Balboa, Bodipo, Juvenal, Iván Bolado and Belima, all of whom have played (or are playing) for Spanish sides at one time in their career. For the local fans though this was their World Cup final, and a capacity crowd cheered on both teams throughout.

Del Bosque used the occasion to give a run out to some of his lesser used players, with Marc Bartra making his debut in defence, but even so they went ahead early on when keeper Danilo dropped Mata's cross, allowing Cazorla to turn the ball in to an empty net. Mata and Navas had chances after that, but Bartra just managed to deflect a shot from Bolado over the top, and from the resulting Juvenal corner Bermúdez ran in to head the equalizer past Reina.

It was a physical contest though, and the already booked Fidjeu was lucky to stay on the park after a terrible two-footed tackle shortly before half time which took Xabi Alonso out of the game, but which went unpunished by a lenient referee (fortunately Alonso's injury wasn't as bad as thought at first). A couple of minutes later however Spain regained the lead after Danilo could only push out a deflected cross from Navas, Juanfran volleying the rebound back in to the net.

The game slowed down in the second half as both coaches made a string of substitutions, and incidents were few and far between. The introduction of Iniesta brought a standing ovation from the crowd, and the Barcelona midfielder set up fellow substitute Llorente for him to find the net, only for the strike to be ruled out for a non-existent offside. Otherwise though a dull end to a match which at least brought some joy to the home fans, and which served as an experience of the type of opposition they can expect from African sides next summer.