Spain gave their UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying campaign a timely boost with a victory in their must-win encounter against ten-man Denmark in Madrid.
Luis Aragonés's side secured the win thanks to first-half goals from Valencia CF duo Fernando Morientes and David Villa following the dismissal of Niclas Jensen, while Michael Gravgaard replied for Denmark. The results lifts Spain into fourth place in Group F with six points from four matches, one point and a place behind their opponents.
Denmark enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges, with Dennis Rommedahl and Daniel Agger both trying their luck, but the momentum shifted dramatically towards Spain when Jensen was sent off after 20 minutes. The midfielder had been booked three minutes earlier when he fouled Villa to earn a second yellow card. Morientes took full advantage of the Danish deficit by opening the scoring on 34 minutes after cleverly turning inside Agger and slotting past Thomas Sørensen, before Villa made it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time with another clinical finish.
However, just when Spain looked on course for a routine success, the Danes clawed their way back into the game. Daniel Jensen rattled the post from 25 metres and any Spanish relief was short-lived as Gravgaard headed in after Agger had launched the ball into the area four minutes after the restart. Denmark pushed forward in search of the equaliser, but despite peppering the Spain box with crosses late on, Morten Olsen's men were unable to claim a share of the spoils. Spain will be looking for back-to-back wins to push them back into qualification contention when they host Iceland on Wednesday, while Denmark resume their campaign at home to leaders Sweden in June.