Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Spain edge Macedonians in fightback victory

SoccerNews in La Liga, World Cup 12 Aug 2009

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European champions Spain bagged three goals inside five second-half minutes on Wednesday to come from two goals down to beat Macedonia 3-2 at Skopje in a friendly international.

Goran Pandev had seemingly put the hosts on the way to a shock success in a frenetic opening dominated by the eastern Europeans.

The Lazio hitman took a pass from Ilco Naumoski to fire home the opener on seven minutes and then doubled the advantage with a fine left-footed solo effort just after the half-hour mark.

But the Spanish regrouped after their horrendous opening phase and the second half was an entirely different affair.

Six minutes after the restart Liverpool striker Fernando Torres reduced the deficit with a header from a Xavi pass and after 54 minutes Barcelona’s former Manchester United man Gerard Pique levelled the encounter from inside the box.

Two minutes later it was 3-2 to the visitors, Torres’ clubmate Albert Riera netting a left-footer to get on the scoresheet as both Liverpool stars had done in their pre-season friendly canter in Singapore last month.

The Spaniards turned out before kickoff wearing shirts emblazoned with the number 21 of Espanyol captain and defender Daniel Jarque, who died last week of heart failure while on a pre-season tour of Italy.

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