World Cup 2006

Qualifying match

Spain 1 - Serbia Montenegro 1

Spain: Casillas; Míchel Salgado, Puyol, Marchena, Del Horno; Xabi Alonso, Xavi; Joaquín (Luis García 67'), Raúl, Vicente (Luque 75'); Fernando Torres (Tamudo 53'). 4-2-3-1.
Serbia: Jevric; Dragutinovic, Vidic, Krstajic, Gavrancic; Djordjevic, Stankovic, Duljaj, Koroman (Maric 85'); Ilic (Zigic 46', N. Kovacevic 92'); Kezman. 4-4-1-1.

1-0. 19. Raúl. Angled near post header up past Jevric from Xavi's corner.
1-1. 69. Kezman. Turned Stankovic shot over head of defenders.

A disappointing result for Spain in their World Cup qualifier, their 1-1 draw with Serbia Montenegro at the Vicente Calderón stadium leaving them two points behind their rivals in the league table. Luis Aragonés was missing Morientes, who injured himself in training, and Fernando Torres was given the number nine shirt in front of his home crowd. And the young striker came close to opening the scoring with a header just wide from Xavi's free kick in the opening minutes. Soon afterwards though Spain did take the lead, a twisting header from Raúl from Xavi's corner finding the top corner of the net. Raúl could have made it two later in the first half when another header from Del Horno's cross hit the post and bounced back in to play.

Aragonés decided to ring the changes early in the second half, replacing Torres with Tamudo much to the disappointment of the local crowd. And they had mixed feelings when another of their players Kezman found the net a few minutes later, happy that their new signing had finally opened his account in the Calderón stadium but upset that he happened to be playing on the opposing side at the time. The goal came after a mistake by Casillas, the Real Madrid keeper trying to catch the ball rather than punch it clear and only succeeding in knocking it as far as Stankovic, who fired a shot goalwards which Kezman turned in to the roof of the net.

Kezman should have put Serbia into the lead a few minutes after the goal, the striker somehow failing to find the target with the goal at his mercy after the defence failed to clear Zigic's cross from the left wing. And although Spain threw everything forward after that, only a shot over the top from Tamudo came anywhere near. It was not the result they wanted, and although Aragonés's side stay a point ahead of Bosnia in second place, they need to win their last two games at Belgium and San Marino next month to even be sure of a spot in the play-offs.