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Mata the catalyst as Spain win in Lithuania

Published: Tuesday 29 March 2011, 23.45CET
Lithuania 1-3 Spain
Substitute Juan Mata was the inspiration for the world and European champions as they made it five Group I wins from five.
by Vaidotas Januška
from Dariaus ir Girėno stadionas
Mata the catalyst as Spain win in Lithuania
Xabi Alonso in action in Lithuania ©Getty Images

Match statistics

LithuaniaSpain

Goals scored1
 
3
Possession (%)0
100
Total attempts10
 
18
Attempts on target3
 
10
Attempts off target3
 
4
Attempts blocked0
 
0
Attempts against woodwork0
 
0
Corners3
 
3
Offsides1
 
1
Yellow cards0
 
0
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed19
 
13
Fouls suffered13
 
19

Standings

Last updated: 13/02/2013 10:53 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Tuesday 29 March 2011, 23.45CET

Mata the catalyst as Spain win in Lithuania

Lithuania 1-3 Spain
Substitute Juan Mata was the inspiration for the world and European champions as they made it five Group I wins from five.

Spain maintained their six-point lead at the top of Group I after Valencia CF's Juan Mata helped force a Lithuania own goal before scoring himself to deny Raimondas Žutautas's men a point.

Xavi Hernández made the breakthrough for the visitors, his deflected effort looping over Žydrūnas Karčemarskas after 19 minutes, but a brilliant volley from Marius Stankevičius drew the Baltic nation level just before the hour. Mata, however, proved to be Spain's trump card. First, Tadas Kijanskas inadvertently directed his cross past Karčemarskas, before the 22-year-old was set up by fellow substitute David Silva to score his side's third.

Having drawn 0-0 in Lithuania seven years ago, Spain did not dazzle at first, but after Deividas Šemberas intervened to give Xavi a somewhat fortuitous opener, Karčemarskas was forced to deny Fernando Llorente a second when he went through on goal. The best Lithuania could offer in return in the opening period was a raking Mindaugas Panka effort, saved by Iker Casillas.

The visitors looked strong from the restart, with the lively Llorente testing Karčemarskas again following a mazy dribble, but they were hit with an improbable blow as Valencia defender Stankevičius volleyed a Spanish clearance straight back into Casillas's net from 25 metres.

Karčemarskas was then called on to fend away a Xabi Alonso free-kick, but he could do nothing to prevent Kijanskas unfortunately restoring Spain's lead. While Tomas Danilevičius had another go from distance, the visitors had the final word, with Mata finishing from close in after Silva's first-time ball showed him a sight of goal.

Last updated: 30/03/11 9.46CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2012/matches/round=15171/match=2002208/postmatch/report/index.html#mata+catalyst+spain

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