Raúl Tamudo enjoyed a terrific return to international football to help Spain take a giant step towards UEFA EURO 2008™ and effectively end Denmark's qualifying hopes.
Tamudo, whose previous appearance came over two years ago, was only involved due to injuries to David Villa and Fernando Torres. But the RCD Espanyol captain made the most of his chance, scoring Spain's opener and then setting up Sergio Ramos for their second just before half-time. Denmark pulled a goal back on 87 minutes through Jon Dahl Tomasson, but substitute Albert Riera's superb debut strike secured for Spain the spoils in Aarhus. The win puts Spain on 22 Group F points, the same as leaders Sweden, who beat Liechtenstein 3-0, and eight more than fourth-placed Denmark.
Spain took the lead on 14 minutes when Andrés Iniesta crossed to the far post where Tamudo directed a looping header back across stranded Denmark goalkeeper Thomas Sørensen and into the net. It was Tamudo's fifth international goal in ten games, and five minutes before half-time he teed up Ramos to double the advantage. Tamudo's slick first-time pass put Ramos through on the right and the Real Madrid CF defender coolly dinked a shot over the on-rushing Sørensen. Cesc Fabregas almost made it 3-0 moments before the break when his toe-poke from the edge of the box was tipped into the air by Sørensen before hitting the top of the crossbar.
Spain continued to threaten after the interval, but Denmark were not without their opportunities and Jesper Grønkjær blazed a decent opening wide before substitute Nicklas Bendtner was twice denied. First Iker Casillas stuck out a foot to somehow keep out his thumping close-range header, before the Arsenal FC forward hit the post with an 18-metre strike. Casillas produced another wonderful stop with five minutes remaining to deny Thomas Kahlenberg's header, before the Madrid keeper was finally beaten in the 87th minute when Tomasson slotted in Kenneth Perez's cut-back. Any prospect of a late Danish fightback evaporated two minutes later when Riera marked his first cap with a stunning goal, the Espanyol winger smashing an unstoppable 20-metre shot into the roof of the net.