boosted his chances of a place in Spain's Euro 2012 team by
scoring on his debut and winning a penalty in the world
champions' 2-0 win over Serbia in a friendly on Saturday.
For much of the game, Spain's performance was as disjointed
as their tournament preparations but a 10-minute spell of
inspiration midway through the second half handed Serbia coach
Sinisa Mihajlovic a defeat in his first match in charge.
With Spain forward David Villa out of the tournament after
failing to recover from a broken leg, Roberto Soldado, Alvaro
Negredo and Lopez were all given a chance to show what they
Lopez, who came on at half-time and was one of five players
to make his debut for Spain, made by far the best of his
opportunity, scoring within 18 minutes when he headed in a cross
by Jesus Navas.
Serbia barely mustered a shot on goal and for the last half
hour their large contingent of fans amused themselves by letting
off firecrackers, cheering each bang and ignoring orders from
the stadium announcer to stop.
One firecracker also landed on the field at the Swiss second
division ground and another before the match drowned out the
Spanish national anthem.
Spain have spent the last week at Schruns, a mountain resort
in Austria, but preparations for their European Championship
defence have been somewhat unusual.
Coach Vicente del Bosque named a provisional 21-man squad on
May 15, but was forced to go without any players from Barcelona
and Athletic Bilbao who were involved in the King's Cup final on
The Spanish federation had blamed fixture congestion for the
late date, extending the domestic season for an extra two weeks.
Del Bosque will name his final 23-man on squad on Sunday
when a number of players in action against Serbia will be on
their way home to make way for the likes of Xavi, Andres
Iniesta, Victor Valdes and Sergio Busquets.
"It's always good to have new players, it gives us more
depth to our squad," Del Bosque told reporters. "Adrian did very
well, as did the rest of the players.
"We've more or less decided on the 23. We'll try to be fair
when we make the decision."
Spain started with Negredo and Soldado in attack but neither
made much of an impression.
Negredo had a 25-metre shot well saved by Damir Kahriman in
the first minute, but it was all down hill from there.
Despite plenty of running, Cazorla and Navas in midfield
failed to create any real openings for the front pair and
Soldado, in particular, failed to provide any real movement and
was marked out of the game.
Serbia's ultra-cautious tactics did not help but on the one
occasion that Navas was given a free run at the defence, he let
the ball slip under his foot.
Defensive midfielder Xabi Alonso had two of Spain's best
efforts, the first a speculative 60-metre effort which flew just
over the bar with Kahirman stranded and the second a 30-metre
free-kick that also curled just over.
Dejan Lekic had the ball in the net for Serbia but was ruled
Spain made four half-time substitutions and the entrance of
Benat, David Silva and Lopez appeared to galvanise them.
Silva slipped the ball through the Serbian defence and Lopez
was centimetres too high with a delicate chip over Kahriman.
Shortly afterwards, Benat sent Navas free down the right
with a majestic 50-metre pass and his cross into the middle was
headed in by Lopez.
Ten minutes later, Lopez went down under a challenge from
Dusko Tosic and Santi Cazorla converted the penalty, taken after
Serbian fans behind the goal threw a device on to the pitch
which left a huge plume of purple smoke in the area.
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