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Clinical Spain make perfect start

Published: Saturday 7 September 2002, 17.54CET
Greece 0-2 Spain Goals from Raúl González and Juan Valerón ensure victory for Spain.

Match statistics

GreeceSpain

Goals scored0
2
Yellow cards1
 
2
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 27/06/2012 11:56 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Saturday 7 September 2002, 17.54CET

Clinical Spain make perfect start

Greece 0-2 Spain Goals from Raúl González and Juan Valerón ensure victory for Spain.

Greece 0-2 Spain
Iñaki Sáez was victorious in his first competitive match as Spanish national coach to leave his side already in an excellent position in EURO 2004™ Qualifying Group 6.

Flowing match
Greece had high hopes of securing a useful result in Athens against the group favourites, but goals from Raúl González and Juan Valerón in a flowing match gave the visiting side all three points.

New Spain era
In Spain's first game since the international retirement of stalwarts Fernando Hierro and Luis Enrique, Sáez started with captain Raúl González as the lone - but rarely isolated - striker. The home side had Giorgios Karagounis on the bench after his recent injury, and showed their intent early on in front of a fervent crowd.

Early lead
However, slightly against the initial run of play, it was Spain that grabbed the lead on eight minutes. The ball came out to Valerón on the left, and his laid-off pass was struck home first time from the edge of the area by the onrushing Raúl González - who equalled Hierro's record tally of Spanish international goals.

Iker Casillas magisterial
Xavi Hernández then sent a shot just over the bar two minutes later, but the play was flowing from end to end in a high-quality opening to the game, the main difference between the sides perhaps Iker Casillas's magisterial presence in the Spanish goal.

Greece shut out
And as time went on, Spain were able to close the game, and by the time Karagounis was introduced in the 38th minute for the injured Konstantinos Konstantinidis, Greece's chances had dried up, the substitute's only contribution to the rest of the first half a booking for a foul on Xavi.

Basinas unlucky
The second half began in the same breathless fashion as the first, and a great chance came for Greece eleven minutes from the re-start, but half-time substitute Angelos Basinas saw his 25-metre lob hit the crossbar with Iker Casillas beaten.

Valerón on target
Spain then introduced Gaizka Mendieta and Rubén Baraja to reignite their attack, as time began to run out for Greece. And with 13 minutes remaining, Valerón doubled their lead, powerfully shooting home inside the area after, in a reversal of the first goal, a lay-off from Raúl González.

One more chance
There was still one more chance for Greece, when with seven minutes to go substitute Zisis Vryzas saw his looping header cleared off the line by García Calvo.

Happy first day
But Spain had done enough, and completed a happy first day of qualifying, having already learnt that second seeds Ukraine had been held by Armenia.

Last updated: 12/10/02 17.37CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/news/newsid=32635.html#clinical+spain+make+perfect+start

Lineups

Greece

Greece

Spain

Spain

1
NikopolidisAntonis Nikopolidis (GK)
1
CasillasIker Casillas (GK)
2
PatsatzoglouChristos Patsatzoglou
2
Míchel SalgadoMíchel Salgado
Yellow Card48
3
FyssasTakis Fyssas
Substitution72
3
Raúl BravoRaúl Bravo
4
DabizasNikos Dabizas
4
García CalvoGarcía Calvo
5
DellasTraianos Dellas
5
MarchenaCarlos Marchena
6
Konstantinos KonstantinidisKonstantinos Konstantinidis (GK)
Substitution40
6
Iván HelgueraIván Helguera
Yellow Card66
7
ZagorakisTheodoros Zagorakis (C)
Substitution46
7
Raúl GonzálezRaúl González (C)
Goal8
8
GiannakopoulosStelios Giannakopoulos
8
JoaquínJoaquín
Substitution59
9
CharisteasAngelos Charisteas
9
ValerónJuan Carlos Valerón
Goal77
Substitution87
10
TsiartasVasilis Tsiartas
10
Xavi HernándezXavi Hernández
Substitution59
11
NikolaidisDemis Nikolaidis
11
VicenteVicente

Substitutes

15
ChalkiasKostas Chalkias (GK)
13
ContrerasPedro Contreras (GK)
14
KaragounisGiorgos Karagounis
Substitution40
Yellow Card44
12
César MartínCésar Martín
Substitution87
17
VryzasZisis Vryzas
Substitution72
17
MendietaGaizka Mendieta
Substitution59
18
BasinasAngelos Basinas
Substitution46
18
BarajaRubén Baraja
Substitution59
12
VenetidisStelios Venetidis
14
RomeroEnrique Romero
13
KyrgiakosSotiris Kyrgiakos
15
MorientesFernando Morientes
16
LakisVasilis Lakis
16
TamudoRaúl Tamudo

Coach

Otto-Heinz Rehhagel (GER) José Ignacio Sáez (ESP)

Referee

Markus Merk (GER)

Assistant referees

Heiner Müller (GER), Christian Schräer (GER)

Fourth official

Franz-Xaver Wack (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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