Leon (Spain), June 12 (IANS) Spain defeated Costa Rica 2-1 in a friendly game to prepare for their Euro 2016 qualifying game against Belarus on Sunday.
In a game designed to bring his side up to match fitness after several players had not played for almost three weeks, Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque played on Thursday night fielded a side filled with players who are not likely to start against Belarus on Sunday. Therefore, Mikel San Jose, Nolito, David de Gea, Paco Alcacer and Marc Bartra all started, while Aleix Vidal made his debut, reports Xinhua.
Although it was just a friendly, the game got off to a flying start. Joel Campbell, a target for Real Sociedad involved early on as his side took the lead thanks to Vengas after just five minutes, before Paco Alacer showed his goal-scoring instinct once again by pulling Spain level just a minute later with a typical quick finish.
Spain began to get on top and it was no surprise when Cesc Fabrigas put them ahead on the half hour mark after a good team move left the Chelsea midfielder with a simple tap in.
The second half saw Keylor Navas make a fine save just before the hour when Spain coach Vicente del Bosque made a triple change bringing on Gerard Pique, David Silva and Santi Cazorla only for Pique to be booed by a part of the crowd for comments he had made about his side’s triple win.
In general the second half saw few clear chances as both sides moved their benches, although the few chances Spain created were well dealt with by Navas, who showed no ill effects from his season of little activity with Real Madrid.
The game ended with Costa Rica wasting a free kick, but in general the game will not be remembered much past Sunday night.