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Spanish Olympic team beat Egypt 3-1

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By David Redshaw

Wednesday 29 February 2012

The Spanish Olympic team had to come from behind to beat Egypt 3-1 in their first warm-up game before this summer’s London games.

A crowd of 5,000 at the Estadio El Malacón in the Cantabrian town of Torrelavega saw Luis Milla’s men struggle to break down the well-organised North Africans in a disjointed first half performance, and it was no surprise when the visitors took the lead on 37 minutes when Mohsen got in front of Domínguez to put his side ahead.

However, things changed after the interval when Milla brought on Joel, San José, Tello and Koké, with Espanyol striker Álvaro equalising eight minutes after the restart. Victor Ruíz, Iturraspe and Azpilicueta were then introduced and Koké won a penalty 18 minutes from time, which the Atlético Madrid player converted himself, before Álvaro grabbed his second of the evening in stoppage time to give the scoreline a slightly lopsided look. Nonetheless, Milla was relatively pleased with his players afterwards, particularly with the second-half performance.

“I saw things we need to put right but I’m pleased, above all, with the attitude and commitment of the players, who had played just 48 hours earlier for their clubs and had not been together for six months,” he told a post-match Press conference.

“In the first half we lacked concentration. Even so, it is better to talk about what we saw in the second period, when we made some changes and it looked more like what we wanted. Egypt were very vertical and did not allow us anything, but we were better after the break.”

Goalscorer Álvaro was delighted with his brace and felt it had done his chances of forcing his way into Milla’s 18-man squad for the Olympics no harm at all.

“It was a great comeback in a difficult game,” he said. They made things very difficult for us yet we managed to turn things around. I was very happy with the two goals. On Monday I was not in the squad and yesterday I got a double for the Olympic team.

“Now we have to rest and concentrate on our clubs. But it is always good to score for your country and the chance to play at the Olympics is something everybody would like.”

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