Andrés Iniesta key in Spain's victory over China / PHOTO: CARMELO RUBIO (RFEF)

Vicente del Bosque’s line-up for the match against China this Sunday evening at La Cartuja featured two FC Barcelona players, Xavi and Sergio Busquets. Both the Catalans were on the pitch for the first 45 minutes of the game. This was Spain’s last match before the reigning EURO champions make their debut in Poland and Ukraine against Italy on June 10.

Goalless draw at the half

Despite maintaining ball possession, the Chinese national team led by Camacho created a lot of problems for Del Bosque’s men, especially on the counter. Even though both sides enjoyed plenty of goal scoring chances, neither side found the back of the net in the first half.

Vicente del Bosque decided to adjust his team slightly in the seconds half. Víctor Valdés featured in his eighth match with the Spanish national team when came on for Iker Casillas. Andrés Iniesta came on for Sergio Busquets and Xavi came off for Navas.

Iniesta’s contribution

The presence of Iniesta on the pitch was felt immediately. On 53 minutes, the Barça midfielder forced an excellent save from the Chinese keeper with a powerful shot from the top of the box. Iniesta then sent the ball crashing into the post on 63 minutes. Minutes before, Gerard Piqué was brought on for Sergio Ramos.

Spain was made to wait until the 83rd minute to break the deadlock. The goal was scored by David Silva, who only had to push the ball into the back of the net after an extraordinary play from Iniesta. Iniesta, who was one of the most dangerous men on the pitch with his incisive runs and passes, was key in Spain’s victory over China.

MATCH STATS

Spain, 1
China, 0

Spain: Casillas (Valdés, m.46); Arbeloa, Albiol, Sergio Ramos (Piqué, m.55) Jordi Alba; Xavi (Navas, m.46), Busquets (Iniesta, m.46), Xabi Alonso; Silva, Negredo (Torres, m.46), Cazorla (Mata, m.68).

China: Zeng Cheng; Zhang Linpeng, Feng Xiaoting, Zhao Peng, Sun Xiang; Zhao Xuri (Lv Peng, m.70), Quin Sheng (Liu Jianye, m.84); Hao Junmin (Wang Xiaolong, m.59), Zheng Zhi (Liu Jian, m.64), Yu Hai (Zheng Zheng, m.74); Gao Lin (Yu Dabao, m.87)

Goals: 1-0, Silva (84')

Referee: Bas Nijhuis