form in friendlies continued when the world and European
champions needed a stoppage-time David Villa goal to snatch a
2-2 draw at lowly Costa Rica on Tuesday.
After losing 1-0 to England on Saturday, the Spanish looked
toothless in attack and vulnerable in defence in the first half
of a rain-lashed match in San Jose, falling two goals behind at
the break before raising their game in the second.
Captain Iker Casillas committed an uncharacteristic howler
to gift the home side the lead on the day the 30-year-old set a
new appearances record for the national team of 127.
The Real Madrid goalkeeper miscontrolled the ball near the
edge of the penalty area just after the half-hour, surrendering
possession to Randall Brenes and allowing the Costa Rica forward
space to lift the ball into the empty net.
The home side doubled their lead just before half-time in the
Costa Rican capital when Joel Campbell was given too much space
on the right and curled a fine left-foot effort past Casillas
Cesc Fabregas had two decent chances for Spain in the first
half, both from Andres Iniesta passes, but Vicente del Bosque's
team looked a shadow of the side that claimed a first World Cup
in South Africa last year.
Since their triumph in Johannesburg, Spain have lost
friendlies against Argentina, Portugal, Italy and England,
although they won all eight of their Euro 2012 qualifiers.
The Iberians showed more urgency in the second half and
Iniesta sent an effort narrowly over the crossbar after a
weaving run into the area before David Villa drew a fine save
from Keilor Navas with a powerfully-struck free-kick.
Del Bosque threw on Fernando Torres, David Silva, Santi
Cazorla and Jesus Navas and as Spain mounted attack after attack
Silva finally found the net in the 83rd minute before Villa
nodded in a Santi Cazorla free-kick for the equaliser.
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