Spain v Colombia International friendly: Match report, goals, Morata saves Spain
A late Alvaro Morata goal saved Spain against Colombia after they had taken a 2-1 lead thanks to Radamel Falcao in the second half.
Spain 2-2 Colombia: match report
Spain geared up for their match against Macedonia on Sunday in a very worthwhile friendly against Colombia in Murcia on Wednesday night. The game was heated from the get-go and Julen Lopetegui got the chance to see some of his younger, more inexperienced stars in the heat of battle and in the red of Spain.
David Silva was pulling strings early and it was the Manchester City man who had Spain ahead after 22 minutes when he poked home from Pedro's dangerous ball into the box. Spain were looking good in possession but were looking fragile and vulnerable when Colombia managed to break at speed.
They were level on 40 minutes after a period that saw them grow in confidence and stature in the game. Cuadrado put a ball towards the goal and Pepe Reina couldn't decide whether he would come out for it or not while Edwin Cardona was in not such doubt. He stole in and nicked it over Reina and despite Pique's best efforts, the ball ended up in the back of the net.
The second half arrived with three changes for Spain in Marco Asensio, Saul Niguez and Nacho Monreal but it was Colombia who started better and had more to show for it. Radamel Falcao headed them into the lead upon ten minutes of the restart and Spain were struggling to find answers as to how to break Colombia down.
Morata was trying hard but nothing was falling his way. That all changed when Saul broke down the left and swung a cross into the near post and the Real Madrid man, who is currently the source of plenty of transfer speculation, glanced a header expertly beyond the reach of David Ospina.
Spain were level but they were not content. They continued to look for a goal like it was a competitive match and like they were down a goal. It never came though and while Julen Lopetegui has plenty to ponder over his young guns, who looked good while his veterans rested up, he will likely stick with the status quo for the World Cup qualifier in four days time.
Spain v Colombia: live stream online build-up
Spain v Colombialive stream online: match preview
Julen Lopetegui’s Spain return to action at the end of a long season, with two important matches in the offing.
On Sunday, La Roja travel to Macedonia for a 2018 World Cup qualifying match. Before that, they welcome José Pékerman’s Colombia to the Estadio Nueva Condomina in Murcia for a friendly match. The two countries have not met since 2011, when David Silva scored the only goal of the game in another friendly at the Bernabéu.
Spain team news
Lopetegui will not select the players that started for Real Madrid in the Champions League final victory against Juventus on Saturday evening - Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, and Isco.
It is also possible that the players who featured from the bench, Nacho and Alvaro Morata, will sit out of the encounter. The Madrid squad have celebrated their 12th European Cup in style over the last few days.
The absence of Sergio Ramos could see Chelsea's Azpilicueta slip in to the heart of the defence alongside Gerard Piqué, who has been his usual low-key self this week, rejecting claims that Real Madrid have begun a new era.
In his press conference before the match, Lopetegui played up the challenge that Colombia will pose: “I see Colombia for what they are, a great team with a magnificent coach. They have a lot of continuity and they are solid."
Colombia team news
Colombia sit in second position in the South American qualifying table, and will be staying in Spain to play another friendly early next week, against Cameroon in Getafe.
James Rodríguez is undoubtedly the main man for Los Cafeteros, and José Pékerman emphasised his ability in his pre-match press conference:
“James is an exceptional player, there are few like him in the world, and he is key for Colombia. He feels happy with the national team, and he’s keen to triumph. He has plenty of time to do so.”
In attack, Radamel Falcao is back to something approaching his best. He scored an impressive 28 goals for Monaco last season, as Jardim's side won Ligue 1 and made it to the semi-finals of the Champions League.
In defence, there could be an intriguing bout between Diego Costa and Yerry Mina. 22-year-old Mina plies his trade for Palmeiras in Brazil, but will be hopping across the Atlantic to European football before too long. Physically, he is a specimen.
Spain v Colombia live online: match facts
Spain have not lost since crashing out of Euro 2016 at the hands of Antonio Conte's Italy in Paris.
The flamboyantly Carlos 'El Pibe' Valderrama is Colombia's all-time record appearance holder, with 111.
Spain v Colombia live stream online: odds and betting
Fancy Falcao to carry on his club form? He's 13/2 to open the scoring.
To be able to comment you must be registered and logged in. Forgot password?