Euro 2008

Qualifying group F

Spain 2 - Latvia 0

Spain: Casillas; Sergio Ramos, Juanito, Marchena, Pernía; Joaquín (Angulo 78'), Albelda, Xavi, David Silva (Cesc 69'); David Villa (Iniesta 50'), Fernando Torres. 4-4-2.
Latvia: Vanins; Zirnis, Klava, Gorkss, Ivanovs; Bleidelis, Astafjevs, Laizans, Rubins; Karlsons (Pahars 64'), Verpakovskis (Blanks 90'). 4-4-2.

1-0. 13. Xavi. Got on the end of Joaquín cross to turn ball in close to goal.
2-0. 85. Fernando Torres. Following up after keeper parried Angulo shot.

Spain consolidated second spot in their group with a 2-0 win over Latvia. Northern Ireland's defeat in Iceland earlier in the day helped them on their way, and when Xavi turned in Joaquín's cross in the twelfth minute they seemed in line for a big score. But despite many chances they were unable to add to their tally for a long time, the best a header from David Villa and a turned down penalty appeal for a foul on Fernando Torres before the break. And ex Getafe striker Maris Verpakovskis gave the home fans a fright when he failed to beat Casillas on the stroke of half time.

Once again Aragonés turned to Iniesta, although his decision to take off local hero Villa just a few minutes after the restart didn't go down well with the supporters in Oviedo. Joaquín had an effort deflected against the post by a defender, and Iniesta brought a good save out Vanins. And with just five minutes to go Spain finally got the second goal they needed, Iniesta setting up Angulo for him to shoot at Vanins and Torres firing in the rebound. Aragonés had the three points he needed to share top spot in the table with Sweden, but he ducked out of the post-match press conference, and many newspapers were calling for his head the following day.