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November 16, 2013
• Nuevo Estadio de Malabo, Malabo
• Attendance: 13500
Jimmy Bermúdez 36'
That's it from me, Harry Slavin. Thank to all of you who joined me for this evening's action. Until next time, goodbye!
FULL-TIME: EQUATORIAL GUINEA 1-2 SPAIN. A thoroughly underwhelming performance from the World and European champions as they squeeze past the 119th best ranked team in the world. A fantastic night for the hosts though, whose players and fans will remember this night for years to come.
90' + 1'
There are three minutes of stoppage time to be played. Equatorial Guinea have a free kick courtesy of Busquet's foul on Da Cruz but the set piece is cleared by La Roja.
That would have been some ending! The goal opens up in front of Da Cruz and he takes aim from the edge of the area, but drags his effort wide. Belima is on for the final seconds for the home side.
Pedro ghosts past a couple of tackles down the right wing but before he can send his cross in he's pick-pocketed at the vital moment by Carlos Martinez.
Another change for Equatorial Guinea as the veteran striker Bodipo comes on for the final five minutes. He's on in place of Balboa.
A cross from Mata is just a touch too high for Llorente to get his head to. Spain's fitness is beginning to show here now and their looking to add another goal before the whistle.
Villa tries to create some space down the right but Mbele does well to shepherd the forward to the bye-line, the Atletico striker eventually settling for a corner.
An impressive display from Martinez, who was probably a little busier than he expected to be, comes to an end as he is replaced by Sergio Ramos.
The substitutions really have taken their toll on the second period. There hasn't been a clear-cut chance for either side and there is only just over 10 minutes left in this second period.
This getting a little dangerous out there. The Equatorial side have been fantastic competitors but have been going into these tackles a little too gung-ho. The yellow cards haven't done too much to prevent them as still they come.
Yellow Card Diosdado Mbele
Another horror tackle, another booking. Mbele goes in with a scissor action on Llorente and the referee is quick to brandish a yellow card. The Spaniard isn't too badly injured but another rash challenge.
They can't on this occasion as the thin red line of the Spanish defence stands firm, the ball eventually hacked out for a throw in.
Free kick for the hosts in the Spanish half. Da Cruz stands over it and all the big men are up from the back. Can they threaten from a set piece once more?
It's a it disjointed from both sides after that wave of changes. There is a nucleus of Barcelona players now on the pitch though for the visitors. Will that change their fortunes?
Jesús Navas González
Another substitution for the visitors. Navas is taken off after that little spat and Pedro is on in his place.
Jesus Navas is treated to another late tackle from the African side and takes exception to it on this occasion. Mbele protests his innocence though and the referee isn't taking any further action.
Fidjeu is off and on comes 18-year-old Valeriano. The young midfielder is currently on the books at Inter.
Unbelievable! Fernando Llorente is denied a tap in by one of the worst offside decisions you are likely to see. Iniesta is miles onside when he is threaded through but is flagged by the linesman just as he squares for the former Bilbao man.
And at the next break Carzola makes way for David Villa.
Just the Barcelona man takes to the field for now. He replace Koke.
It looks as though Spain are ready to make another couple of changes Villa and Iniesta are poised and ready to come on.
Chance for Llorente! A lovely long diagonal ball finds Navas whose cushioned header finds the Juve striker. He gets there ahead of Danilo but his shot is weak and easily collected by the goalkeeper.
Ellong tries to make amends for that foul by giving the crowd something to cheer about. He cuts back onto his right foot and attempts to let fly but he gets it all wrong and the ball goes high, wide and out for a goal kick.
Yellow Card Douala
Another booking for the home side as Ellong goes through the back of Juan Mata.
Chance for Equatorial Guinea to counter as Ellong brings it forward. He does well to bide his time and play in Fidjeu, but the forward hurries his pass to Balboa under pressure and the ball runs out of play.
Mbele goes through the back of Llorente as the visitors gain their first free kick of the half. The hosts' tackling has questionable throughout this evening.
Back up and running for the second half with a change for both sides. Bolada is off for the hosts and on comes Da Cruz. Fernando Llorente is on up top for Spain in place of Negredo.
Back out onto the field come Spain, quickly followed by the hosts. We're ready to get back underway in the second half. It looks as though the visitors might be making another change too.
What a moment for Bermudez and what a moment for Equatorial Guinea that was! They've certainly held their own in this first half and haven't disgraced themselves by any means. Spain on the other hand, will be looking for marked improvement from their tame opening half performance.
HALF-TIME: EQUATORIAL GUINEA 1-2 SPAIN. Spain do lead at the break as expected, but it hasn't been plain sailing by any means. Juanfran and Carzola have pounced on loose balls to give La Roja the lead, but the main talking point will be Bermudez's header sandwiched in between.
Into two minutes of added on time we go at the end of the half.
That last tackle from Fidjeu has taken it's toll on Alonso and he's forced off with an injury. Sergio Busquets takes his place and the captain's armband.
GOOAAALLL!!! JUANFRAN FOR SPAIN!!! Carzola causes panic on the right for the home side yet again, laying a dangerous cross along the face of the six-yard box. Danilo is able to punch it clear but only as far as Juanfran who emphatically smashes the ball into the net. Advantage Spain.
Fidjeu simply shouldn't be on the pitch. He dives in late on Alonso, catching the Real Madrid man and should be receiving his marching orders for a second bookable offence. As it is, he's given a reprieve by the referee.
The Spanish bench is scene of staunch facial expressions. There is disbelief from every corner of the stadium and the majority of it is dancing in jubilation.
Goal J. Bermúdez
GOOOAAAALLLL!!! EQUATORIAL GUINEA EQUALISE!!! Yup, you've read that right folks. Centre-back Bermudez rises highest at the back post to meet a corner and power it beyond Reina, who gets a hand to it but can't tip it over the bar. What a story!
Lovely one touch move from Spain but Negredo can' take advantage. Koke brings the ball forward and the ball is laid of for Moreno wide on the right. He takes the ball in his stride and sidefoots it across goal for the striker but his first touch lets him down and the ball is cleared.
Yellow Card Fidjeu-Tazemeta
First booking of the game for Equatorial Guinea's Fidjeu for a nasty looking tackle on Moreno. He looked to have caught the defender with his studs and down the shin. A real sore one that.
Mata tries to play Negredo through the centre of the park but it rolls to far ahead of the Man City striker. The pitch has a bit of zip about it this evening, with a lot of passes running away from players so far.
NAVAS! The Man City forward gets in behind on the left as the visitors hoist the ball long into the Guinea half. He gets into the area but drags his effort across Danilo's goal. That should have been two.
Passed the half-way point in the first half and the home side certainly haven't disgraced themselves here Martinez sends in another cross but Reina collects this one with ease.
Balboa is almost through on goal for the hosts and it takes an important tackle from Martinez to deny him a shooting opportunity. Some of the fans in the crowd want a penalty but it was a great block.
Equatorial Guinea are actually trying to play some decent stuff to their credit. They are often trying to play the ball on the deck and get down the wings in behind Spain. Not much luck yet though on that front.
That is not a pass that Danilo wants to be dealing with! The hosts almost play themselves into trouble as Bermudez sends a looping pass-back the keepers way. Navas closes in quickly but the keeper remains calm and clears the ball away.
Jesus Navas takes the ball for a walk down the right wing and runs rings around Mbele before the referee finally puts the defender out of his misery by awarding a free kick.
The home side are going to have a tough enough time of it this evening as it is, without handing out gifts like that. Carlos Akpro gets another cross in from the right for the hosts but there is no one in the middle to capitalise.
Goal Santi Cazorla
GOOOAAALLL!!! CARZOLA PUTS SPAIN IN FRONT!!! Oh dear, this is not a goal that keeper Danilo will want to see again. Juan Mata lobs a harmless cross into the area but the Equatorial Guinea keeper drops it at the feet of the Arsenal man, who tucks the ball into an empty net.
Chances are going to be a rarity for the hosts and this has to count as one. Carlos Akpo darts onto a loose pass and fires in a dangerous cross that Martinez has to slide behind. Promising for the hosts.
La Roja threaten down the right yet again. Santi Carzola finds the Equatorial defence almost inviting him to cut inside. He accepts the invitation and slashes a dangerous ball across the face of goal, but it's hacked clear by Kily, before Koke skews an effort wide from outside the area.
What an effort from Navas! The Manchester City winger almost catches out Danilo from long range with a lob, the keeper having to back-pedal and tip the effort over his crossbar.
Important tackle from Sipo as La Roja try to forge their first attacking opportunity. Koke receives the ball wide on the right but the defender is across well to block.
To nobody's surprise, Vicente Del Bosque's men are bossing the possession early on. They test out the Guinean's back four with a couple of long balls over the top, which they deal with. Just about.
The home fans have turned up in their thousands this evening and are pretty excitable. A loose pass in midfield finds its way all the way through to Reina which brings shrill cries from the supporters. Reina must be wondering what all the fuss is about.
After a short delay we are finally underway in Malabo! Spain get us underway in their all red kit. The hosts are all in white.
The teams are out at a sell-out Nuevo Stadio de Malabo. It's handshakes all round with the Equatorial Guinean dignitaries and then the national anthems. We're now ready to go!
After all the drama surrounding the tug of war over Diego Costa, the Atletico Madrid man misses out this evening through injury, along with Cesc Fabregas. There is one debutant in the Spanish ranks though as Barcelona centre-back Marc Bartra makes his first appearance for La Roja.
SPAIN: (4-3-3) Reina; Juanfran, Bartra, Inigo Martinez, Moreno; Xabi Alonso, Cazorla, Koke; Navas, Mata, Negredo.
EQUATORIAL GUINEA: (4-4-2) Danilo; Sipo, Bermúdez, Mbele, Alvarez; Juvenal, Randy, Balboa, Nsue; Belima, Bolado.
We are only 10 minutes or so from kick off so let's get some teams news up before we get underway. We'll start with the hosts.
To say it's a mismatch this evening would be an understatement. There are 118 place between these sides in the FIFA World rankings. The hosts haven't won any of their last five, with their most illustrious opponents Tunisia ranked a lofty 47th on the rankings. Spain meanwhile qualified for the World Cup in Brazil next year at a canter. There are few people who don't expect them to win tonight with the same ease.
It does kick off though, in just under half an hour actually, in what looks to all intents and purposes like a very one-sided affair. I'm Harry Slavin and I'll be here to take you through all the action as the Champions of the World light up Malabo, the Equatorial Guinean capital.
It's one of the most talked about international fixtures of the weekend, but not for all the right reasons. World and European champions Spain have traveled Malabo to take on Equatorial Guinea, a country comdemned for it's poor human rights history, with most people of the impression that this match shouldn't be kicking off in the first place.
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