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Xavi secures top spot for Spain

Published: Thursday 22 November 2007, 0.30CET
Spain 1-0 Northern Ireland Xavi Hernández's deflected goal was enough to earn Spain three points and first place in Group F as the visitors' hopes faded.
Xavi secures top spot for Spain
Spain's Xavi Hernández (left) and David Silva celebrate the only goal against Northern Ireland ©Getty Images

Match statistics

SpainNorthern Ireland

Goals scored1
 
0
Attempts on target8
 
0
Attempts off target5
 
1
Corners10
 
3
Fouls committed3
 
11
Yellow cards0
2
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 27/06/2012 11:57 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Thursday 22 November 2007, 0.30CET

Xavi secures top spot for Spain

Spain 1-0 Northern Ireland Xavi Hernández's deflected goal was enough to earn Spain three points and first place in Group F as the visitors' hopes faded.

Northern Ireland's faint UEFA EURO 2008™ qualification hopes fizzled out as a deflected Spain goal condemned them to defeat in Gran Canaria.

Spain finish first
Xavi Hernández's second-half strike settled the contest although Sweden's 2-1 win against Latvia meant Nigel Worthington's team would not have progressed even had they won. The goal came when Xavi's long-range drive clipped off Sammy Clinghan's head to wrongfoot Maik Taylor and was enough to secure Spain first place in Group F, two points ahead of the Swedes. Northern Ireland, after a remarkable campaign, finished in third place.

Pressure
Spain started brightly and Xavi cracked a shot wide of Taylor's post after two minutes. The home side had claims for a penalty waved away by referee Herbert Fandel in the seventh minute after David Silva went to ground following a challenge from Stephen Craigan. Sergio Ramos found the side-netting in the 21st minute following a neat through-ball from Cesc Fabregas and as Spain stepped up the pressure, Taylor had to get down quickly to smother a shot from Daniel Güiza.

Taylor saves
A minute later Ramos came within a whisker of making the breakthrough, only for Clingan to clear off the line. Fabregas was next to threaten, the Arsenal FC midfielder stinging Taylor's fingers with a rasping drive from distance after 38 minutes. Spain kept coming, however, Taylor clawing away Andrés Iniesta’s deflected cross and then denying Marcos Senna and Silva.

Cursing their luck
Having stood firm for 53 minutes, Northern Ireland were cursing their luck when Spain went in front. Taylor seemed to have Xavi's 25-metre effort covered but he was left wrong-footed after it took a deflection of Craigan. Spain should have extended their lead when substitute Joaquín pulled the ball back from the byline. It looked a tap-in for Silva but he somehow managed to steer his shot wide of Taylor's post.

Last updated: 21/11/07 23.31CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2008/matches/round=2241/match=83746/postmatch/report/index.html#xavi+secures+spot+spain

Lineups

Spain

Spain

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland

25
ReinaPepe Reina (GK)
1
TaylorMaik Taylor (GK)
15
RamosSergio Ramos
2
McAuleyGareth McAuley
2
AlbiolRaúl Albiol
5
CraiganStephen Craigan
22
Pablo IbáñezPablo Ibáñez
18
HughesAaron Hughes (C)
3
PerníaMariano Pernía
3
BairdChris Baird
16
IniestaAndrés Iniesta
7
SprouleIvan Sproule
Substitution46
8
Xavi HernándezXavi Hernández (C)
Goal52
Substitution67
6
ClinganSammy Clingan
18
FàbregasCesc Fàbregas
Substitution47
8
DavisSteven Davis
19
SennaMarcos Senna
11
BruntChris Brunt
Substitution59
21
SilvaDavid Silva
9
HealyDavid Healy
Yellow Card74
10
GüizaDaniel Güiza
Substitution57
10
FeeneyWarren Feeney
Substitution72

Substitutes

1
CasillasIker Casillas (GK)
12
MannusAlan Mannus (GK)
5
PuyolCarles Puyol
4
WebbSean Webb
6
AlbeldaDavid Albelda
13
CapaldiTony Capaldi
7
VillaDavid Villa
Substitution67
14
K. LaffertyKyle Lafferty
Substitution59
Yellow Card76
11
RieraAlbert Riera
15
RobinsonStephen Robinson
Substitution46
17
JoaquínJoaquín
Substitution47
16
HamiltonGary Hamilton
23
TamudoRaúl Tamudo
Substitution57
17
PatersonMartin Paterson
Substitution72

Coach

Luis Aragonés Suárez (ESP) Nigel Worthington (NIR)

Referee

Herbert Fandel (GER)

Assistant referees

Carsten Kadach (GER), Volker Wezel (GER)

Fourth official

Manuel Gräfe (GER)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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