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  • 15 November 2011
  • • 21:05
  • • Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica, San José
  • Referee: M. Navarro
  • • Attendance: 30000

Costa Rica 2-2 Spain: Silva & Villa save world champions after Arsenal's Joel Campbell looked to have secured victory

Costa Rica 2-2 Spain: Silva & Villa save world champions after Arsenal's Joel Campbell looked to have secured victory


Late goals from the Manchester City substitute and country's all-time top scorer denied the home side a famous win after they had raced into a two-goal lead in the first half

A dramatic comeback from Spain denied Costa Rica a famous win on Tuesday night, with the score finishing 2-2 in this friendly in San Jose.

Arsenal striker Joel Campbell and midfielder Randall Brenes were on the scoresheet for the home side in the first half, before Spain fought back late on to salvage a draw thanks to dramatic strikes from David Silva and David Villa.

Goalkeeper Iker Casillas made his 127th appearance for La Roja, becoming their most-capped player of all time in the process, but his uncharacteristic error shortly before half-time will no doubt tarnish his memories of the game.

A seemingly innocuous through ball found its way through to the Real Madrid keeper, who should have dealt with it comfortably. However, his poor touch allowed Brenes to gain possession, and the impressive midfielder dummied the Spanish No.1 before lifting a delicate chip over Carles Puyol and into the back of the net to give his side an unexpected lead.

Spain's nightmare in international friendlies looked to be continuing as Costa Rica went on to take a 2-0 lead, Campbell setting himself on the edge of the box before firing an effort past the helpless Casillas and into the bottom corner.

On the balance of play the scoreline at half-time did not flatter the hosts, but Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas was kept busy towards the end of the half, making two good saves from Cesc Fabregas to maintain the home side's lead.

Unsurprisingly, Spain made a host of substitutions following their dismal first half display and with their pride yet again at stake following their recent loss to England they seemed to move up through the gears.

An acrobatic Navas save from a David Villa free-kick kept the score at 2-0 before the Barcelona striker appeared to have finally reduced the deficit only for his effort to be ruled out for offside.

Villa appeared on a one-man mission for Spain, going close twice more just minutes later, firing into the side netting after being played through by the substituteSilva, before shooting wide under pressure from centre-back Johnny Acosta.

Silva scored late on to set up a tense final 10 minutes, converting after neat build-up from Andres Iniesta. Spain's spirited comeback was completed by Villa in injury time, leaving the home side in disbelief as he headed home the leveller his efforts in the second period had deserved.

The world champions' record in friendlies since winning the World Cup last year made grim reading going into the game and at half-time showed no signs of ending. However, the introduction of Silva alongside the persistent Villa allowed La Roja to salvage the situation.

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