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August 15, 2012
• Estadio Juán Rámon Loubriel, Bayamón
Referee: J. Santos
• Attendance: 15000
M. Cintron 65'
FULL-TIME: PUERTO RICO 1-2 SPAIN. The world and European champions dominated possession in their match against the team ranked No. 138 in the world, but they only managed to score two goals, both of which were scored late in the first half. Santi Cazorla drilled home the opener, before Fabregas volleyed home from 12 yards out. In the second half La Roja continued to control the game but failed to increase their lead, and in the 65th minute Marc Cintron scored a fine goal for Puerto Rico to reduced the deficit and send the home crowd into raptures. Puerto Rico will be delighted to have notched against Del Bosque's side, even if did finish 2-1 to Spain. That's all from me tonight, thank you for joining me for Goal.com's LIVE coverage of what has been an entertaining international friendly between two very different sides! Good night.
90' + 3'
90' + 3'
The corner amounts to nothing though, as it is comfortably cleared to safety by the Puerto Rico backline. That is the last play of the game here, as the referee blows the final whistle!
90' + 1'
90' + 1'
Torres lets rip at goal from 20 yards but his shot is deflected off Arrieta and flies behind for a corner to the away team.
Anthony Vazquez takes the free-kick, and what a waste that is! The defender tries to drill the ball towards his team-mates in the Spain penalty area, but only succeeds in lofting it out of play for a goal-kick. Iker Casillas looks slightly amused at that effort!
Now Puerto Rico have a set piece in a promising position! Sergio Ramos is adjudged to have fouled Cintron, and now the home side have a chance to get the ball in the box!
Spain have a corner late on, but after playing it short, concede a free-kick after Llorente is penalised for climbing over the back of Martinez inside the Puerto Rico penalty area.
Puerto Rico have certainly grown in confidence since grabbing that goal, although, as soon as I type that, Spain go hurtling up the other end and nearly score! Gaduette, who has pulled off a string of saves for his side tonight, keeps out a shot from David Silva.
There's another Puerto Rico player needing to be stretchered off, which is never nice to see. The midfielder Fernando Gonzalez, who has ran himself into the ground tonight, is going to need to be replaced here.
The Caribbean side have never faced a reigning world champion before, but I tell you what, even if they have defended with 10 men behind the ball for large chunks of this match, they will be delighted to have got on the scoresheet. Cintron is set to be a national hero I think!
Sergio Ramos gets to the ball ahead of Cintron to clear the ball upfield as Puerto Rico attempt to get the ball to their goalscorer. Spain sweep the ball towards Navas on the right but his cross is wayward and goes out for a throw on the left-hand side.
Can Puerto Rico do the unthinkable and get another here? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter, @charliefscott. I would love to hear from you! I can't believe they've even scored one to be honest.
A fine move involving Llorente, Torres and Navas nearly creates a goalscoring opportunity, but the latter of the three's final ball has just a little too much on it, as it grazes the top of Llorente's head and drifts away from goal.
Puerto Rico have a player down inside their penalty area. It's the defender Noah Delgado. He is helped off the field by the team's physios but that's the end of his involvement tonight, as he is going to be replaced by Samuel Soto.
Cesc flicks the set piece towards the imposing Llorente inside the penalty area, but Gaudette is off his line well to punch the ball away to safety.
Fernando Torres is fouled by Vazquez, and Spain have another free-kick in a dangerous area just outside the penalty area.
Yellow Card Busquets
Pepe Reina's last contribution of the game was to pick the ball out of his net, as he is now replaced by Real Madrid's Iker Casillas.
Naughty from Busquets, he's been given a yellow card by the referee after remonstrating far too much about the official's failure to give a foul on a Spain player.
Cintron looks ecstatic, and he's got every reason to be. Never mind his grandchildren, he'll be telling every person he ever meets about that goal!
I can't believe what I have just seen there. Puerto Rico have not threatened once until then. And here they are, they've scored against the world and European champions!
Assist H. Ramos
Goal Marc Cintron
OH. MY. WORD. PUERTO RICO HAVE SCORED!!!! Unbelievable scenes here in Bayamon!! Marc Cintron has been on the pitch a matter of minutes but that doesn't matter, as he has just scored the biggest goal in Puerto Rican football history! The substitute raced on to a looping pass from Krause before calmly slotting the ball past Reina.
Good defending from Rivera to block a Jesus Navas cross from reaching its intended target of Fernando Llorente on the penalty spot. Navas has had great fun down the right for Spain tonight, that's one of the only times Puerto Rico have been able to stop him!
You saw me mention Puerto Rico's poor recent form earlier, well feast your eyes on Spain's. Makes for slightly more impressive reading! W8, D3. Their last defeat was a 1-0 reverse against England in a friendly in November.
ANOTHER FINE SAVE FROM GAUDETTE!! The Puerto Rico keeps out another well-hit effort from Santi Cazorla, as the Arsenal man fires a shot at goal from the edge of the penalty area after good work from David Silva.
FABREGAS CHIPS WIDE!! Torres plays a neat pass through to the Barca man, who attempts the audacious by lobbing the ball over Gaudette from 16 yards out. His effort beats the goalkeeper, but also the left-hand post, and the score remains 2-0 for the time being.
The home side are continuing their 10 men behind the ball approach in this second half, as Spain toy with the ball 20 yards from the Puerto Rico goal.
PUERTO RICO NEARLY FASHION A CHANCE!! Hector Ramos chaces on to a through-ball under pressure from Spain's very own Ramos, Sergio, but cannot quite keep the ball in play as it runs out for a Spain goal-kick.
By the looks of it, Spain have introduced Llorente, Sergio Busquets and Sergio Ramos for this second half, and taken off Xabi Alonso, Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique.
Good hands from Gaduette there, who has made a good start to the second half. The Puerto Rico goalkeeper catches a header from Spain substitute Fernando Llorente, after he was set up by Monreal minutes after keeping Cazorla's free-kick out.
It is Cazorla that hits though, not Fabregas, and he is very close to increasing Spain's lead, as his curling shot is tipped onto the crossbar superbly by Gaduette. Great save!
Spain have a free-kick 30 yards out that Cesc looks like he might fancy...
We are back under way here in Puerto Rico. Spain picking up where they left off.. attacking the home side's goal.
Join me in 10 minutes for the second half of this exciting international friendly!
HALF-TIME: PUERTO RICO 0-2 SPAIN. The world and European champions have been in complete control in the first half here in Bayamon, and deservedly took the lead late in the half through Santi Cazorla. Cesc Fabregas then added a second on the brink of half-time, with a well-taken finish following some impressive wingplay from Jesus Navas down the right-hand side.
45' + 1'
Fabregas' goal is the last passage of play of the half as the referee blows the whistle for half-time.
Assist Jesús Navas González
Goal Cesc Fàbregas
GOALLL!!! FABREGAS INCREASES THE AWAY SIDE'S LEAD!! The Barca man sweeps home a neat volley from 12 yards out after Jesus Navas had found space to dink a cross towards the penalty spot from the right. Two goals in the space of three minutes for Spain!
Well, you can't say they didn't deserve that, La Roja have dominated this match so far!
Goal Santi Cazorla
GOALLL!!! CAZORLA GIVES SPAIN THE LEAD! The new Arsenal signing fires a hard shot from a central position 25 yards out that flies past Gaudette and into the back of the net. The ball flew through a body of Puerto Rico defenders there, and Gaudette didn't move as the ball rifled past him.
Yellow Card Bill Gaudette
A replay shows the goalkeeper hit his head as he jumped across to try and stop Torres' effort, but after a moment or so to collect himself, he is okay to continue. I'm glad we sorted that out, I didn't know what was going on for a second!
What's happened here then... Alonso chips a cross to Torres, who heads the ball wide, but he is already flagged offside so that wouldn't have counted even if he had scored. In the Puerto Rico goal Gaudette is down on the floor though.
Gaudette looks like he's enjoying himself out there tonight, which is nice to see! He's certainly being kept busy by this attacking Spain side.
NAVAS SHOOTS STRAIGHT AT GAUDETTE! The attacker drives forward on the right before firing a driven shot low at goal, but is straight down Gaudette's throat, and is comfortably blocked by the Puerto Rico stopper.
From this opening 36 minutes I've got to say I would be VERY surprised if the home side get a draw or a win in this match. They won't be expecting to though, they are ranked No. 138 in the world, and their recent form does not make pretty reading: W3, D4, L6.
Iniesta has got to the byline and chipped four enticing crosses towards Torres in this opening half but the former Atletico forward has only troubled Gaudette once so far, when the Puerto Rico stopper clawed his headed effort out ten minutes ago.
It really is backs against the wall stuff for Puerto Rico here. At my last count they had NINE outfield players inside their own box defending in open play. Only Hector Ramos is showing any kind of attacking intent, loitering on the half-way line between Pique and Raul Albiol.
That's a robust challenge from Martinez on Torres inside the box there and that could easily be a penalty for Spain. The referee doesn't think so though, and waves play on!
Fabulous dribbling from Iniesta. The Barcelona star evades five or six challenges on his way to the byline on the left-hand side of the Puerto Rico box, but his eventual pull-back does not find a team-mate, and is headed away by Richard Martinez.
Del Bosque's men are sweeping the ball around between themselves nicely on the edge of the Puerto Rico box, but they are yet to find a breakthrough, as the home side defend doggedly.
Yellow Card Christian Arrieta
That's a dangerous challenge from Christian Arrieta on Monreal out on the right, and the Puerto Rico skipper is correctly shown a yellow card for his over-the-top tackle on the Spain left-back.
ANOTHER GOOD SAVE FROM GAUDETTE!! The Puerto Rico goalkeeper is keeping his side in it here, getting down well to stop Cazorla's firm shot from distance just seconds after parrying Torres' header.
GOA... Oh no, hang on a second, no it's not! Torres looked to have given Spain the lead with a header from six yards but Gaudette has other ideas, flinging out a strong left hand to keep the Chelsea striker's effort out brilliantly. What a save!
XABI ALONSO SCREWS A SHOT WIDE!! The midfielder finds a pocket of space 25 yards from goal and opts to try a shot at goal. He slices across the ball however, and his strike flies wide of Gaduette's left-hand post.
With just four days until the Liga season starts up again, Simeone will be hoping that is not as serious an injury as it seems for Juanfran. He looked in a fair amount of pain!
An early substitution for Del Bosque's side - and the last thing Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone will want to be seeing - as Juanfran hobbles off to be replaced by Real Madrid full-back Alvaro Arbeloa.
Monreal runs the ball out of play on the left as Spain remain firmly on top here in Bayamon. They are camped on the edge of the Puerto Rico box as they search for an opening goal.
Puerto Rico have got to be more careful in possession when they do get the ball. At the moment they appear to be just hoofing it long to Ramos and hoping he can create something out of nothing. Every long pass played up to him has been miles away from him so far too!
Spain are looking to get the ball out to Navas on the right whenever they can, as the tricky winger clearly has the beating of the Puerto Rico left-back Vazquez. On this occasion he chips a cross to Nacho Monreal at the back post, but the Malaga man gets his shot all wrong and skies it high over Gaudette's crossbar.
Here's a stat for you all: 4 - Pepe Reina, Santi Cazorla, David Silva and Fernando Torres are the only four players who ply their trade outside of La Liga included in Del Bosque's squad.
PIQUE HITS THE POST!! Cazorla whips the corner into the penalty area, and Gerard Pique, unmarked on the penalty spot, is able to head a firm against the right-hand post. The ball bounces dangerously across the line before being cleared away by Scott Jones.
Alonso sprays a neat pass out to Cazorla on the left, the new Arsenal signing quickly cuts inside before curling a pass out to Juanfran, who then shifts it on to Navas on the right wing. Navas beats Vazquez for pace and drills a pass towards Torres but the attempted cross is deflected behind for a corner.
Gaudette is trying to slow the pace of the game down each time he gets the ball in his hands, as Spain continue to dominate possession.
Jesus Navas is not happy with the linesman on the near side here! The Sevilla speedster appears to be fouled by Anthony Vazquez as he tries to put a cross in on the right, but the official is having none of it, and signals a goal-kick for the home side.
Sloppy from Alonso. You won't see me type that very often! The Spain midfielder gives the ball away cheaply midway inside the Puerto Rico half and gives the opposition a chance to break. Noah Delgado attempts to curl a ball down the left to the lone figure of Hector Ramos but his pass is overhit, and gathered by Juanfran.
Alonso fires over though, and Puerto Rico now have a chance to collect themselves after a fairly confident start from the world and European champions.
After a couple of minutes of heavy pressure Spain win a free-kick just left of centre, 25 yards from goal after a foul on Santi Cazorla. Xabi Alonso looks like he fancies this one...
La Roja gain possession of the ball and work a fast move through the middle of the pitch that allows Jesus Navas the opportunity to chip an ambitious effort at goal from 25 yards out. Luckily for the Puerto Rico goalkeeper Bill Gaudette it drifts harmlessly over.
Puerto Rico get us under way and quickly look to break down the right-hand side through John Krause. Nacho Monreal at left-back for Spain stops him in his tracks though, and clear the ball up-field.
The team ranked No. 138 in the world, against the team ranked No. 1 in the world. There can only be one winner, can't there? We're about to find out...
The Spain national anthem plays out first, before we are now treated to Puerto Rico's, and you'll be glad to hear that all the Puerto Rico team appear to be singing along.
Pepe Reina appears to be carrying a child as he walks out on to the pitch, I'm not quite sure what that's about. A lucky mascot I guess!
Both teams are making their way out on to the pitch at the Estadio Juan Roman Loubriel, and there is glorious sunshine greeting them from the sky. There were worries about the weather before this match, but things look more than okay from where I'm sitting.
Oh my... Del Bosque is starting three Barcelona players, and only two Real Madrid players! That means Barcelona's players will be more tired when they start their Liga campaign on Sunday, doesn't it? The result: Madrid win the league. I'm just kidding, but I'm sure some will be paying attention to stuff like that, I, on the other hand, just want an exciting game!
We're just minutes from kick-off here in Bayamon. Get your predictions for this game over to me on Twitter @charliefscott, pronto.
Puerto Rico meanwhile are without Josh Hansen, scorer in both of their two recent matches against Nicaragua, and their top scorer Andres Cabrero. I guess they're only playing against the best team in the world...
Tactically it looks like Del Bosque has plumped for an adventurous 4-1-4-1 formation, with Xabi Alonso appearing to be the only holding midfielder in the starting eleven. Elsewhere, Fernando Torres, fresh from his Community Shield goalscoring exploits for Chelsea at the weekend, starts upfront.
PUERTO RICO (4-2-3-1): Gaudette; Jones, Delgado, Martinez, Vazquez; Arrieta, Rivera; Perez, Gonzalez, Krause; Ramos
And here is the home side's starting line-up:
SPAIN (4-1-4-1): Reina; Juanfran, Pique, Albiol, Monreal; Alonso; Cazorla, Cesc, Iniesta, Navas; Torres.
Without further ado, here is La Roja's starting eleven:
Spain veterans Xavi Hernandez, Carles Puyol and David Villa have been rested for tonight's clash, while Jordi Alba, Javi Martinez and Juan Mata have been excused from the trip after representing their country at the London Olympics, but the rest of Del Bosque's squad is near full strength.
Let's have a little bit of team news...
Don't forget guys and girls, you can get in touch with me throughout this LIVE commentary by sending your thoughts and praise (too much?) to @charliefscott on Twitter. I would love to hear from as many of you as possible during the course of the match.
What an occasion we have over in Puerto Rico this evening! This is the first time these two sides have ever faced one another, and will no doubt be a match that the Caribbean islanders will remember for the rest of their lives.
Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of tonight's international friendly at the Estadio Juan Ramon Loubriel in Bayamon that pits Caribbean minnows Puerto Rico against the reigning world and European champions, Spain. My name is Charlie Scott and I'll be doing my utmost to provide you with entertaining and insightful updates on this match as it unfolds!
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