An added-time header from David Villa helped world and European champions Spain rescue a 2-2 draw against Costa Rica in San Jose.
Vicente del Bosque's side looked to be heading for a fifth defeat in the nine friendly internationals they have played since lifting the FIFA World Cup with Costa Rica 2-0 up inside the opening 41 minutes thanks to goals from Randall Brenes and Joel Campbell. The visitors rallied after the break, however, and after substitute David Silva reduced the arrears with eight minutes remaining, Villa nodded in to salvage a draw in what was La Roja's last game of 2011.
With Saturday's 1-0 reverse to England at Wembley still fresh in their minds, Spain started on the back foot at the Estadio Nacional and they were behind shortly after the half-hour when Brenes chipped in after taking advantage of Iker Casillas's uncertainty when coming to collect the ball. Things soon got worse for the Spanish captain – who was making a record 127th appearance for his country – when he failed to prevent Campbell's expertly placed left-footed shot from distance which doubled the hosts' lead.
Del Bosque made several changes as the second half progressed and it was one of the substitutes, Silva, who pulled a goal back inside the last ten minutes, the Manchester City FC attacker profiting from Andrés Iniesta's pass to slot into the corner. With the rain teeming down and the game entering its final throes, Spain won a free-kick in a dangerous position from where Santi Cazorla lifted the ball onto the head of Villa to nod in his 51st international goal.
Spain: Casillas (Valdés 45); Arbeloa, Puyol, Ramos, Monreal (Torres 70); Mata (Navas 45), Xavi Hernández (Cazorla 45), Xabi Alonso (Busquets 45), Fàbregas (Silva 64), Iniesta; Villa.
Costa Rica: Navas; Umaña, Acosta, Miller, Salvatierra; Barrantes (Junior Díaz 74), Brenes (López 57), Azofeifa (Cubero 86), Oviedo (Hernández 80); Campbell (Parks 66), Ruíz (Guevara 89).
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|Jorge Luis Pinto (COL)||Vicente del Bosque (ESP)|