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Spain labour to 1-0 Euro 2008 warm-up victory over USA

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 5 Jun 2008

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Spain laboured to a 1-0 Euro 2008 warm-up victory over the USA here on Wednesday night, badly missing injured striker David Villa and midfielder Andres Iniesta.

Xavi Hernandez scored the only goal of the game in the 78th minute for a side which lacked ideas, particularly in the playmaking role in which Iniesta excels and up front where Valencia's Villa would have made a difference.

Villa is suffering from a right quadriceps injury after a training ground incident on Tuesday and tests revealed a major bruise. Iniesta missed the match because of food poisoning.

Aragones almost fielded the same side which had trouble beating Peru 2-1 last Saturday, though Santiago Cazorla and Cesc Fabregas came in for Iniesta and Villa against Bob Bradley's American side.

As for the USA, Kansas City Wizards striker Eddie Johnson caught the eye with a shot and a headed chance before and after the break.

Liverpool's Fernando Torres, who was playing despite ankle problems, had a great chance midway through the first half though American keeper Tim Howard was up to the task.

Torres eventually came off for Dani Guiza, the Spanish league's top scorer, which gave the attack more pace.

The United States, who are using this match as a build-up to their June 15 World Cup qualifier against Barbados, worked hard and tried to hit on the counterattack throughout the match.

Spain travel to Austria on Thursday for the June 7 to 29, 16-nation Euro 2008 finals, playing their first match against Russia, who beat Lithuania 4-1 in a friendly on Wednesday night.

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