Fri, Aug 17, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Spain downs Puerto Rico 2-1, unbeaten 12 straight games

AFP, BAYAMON, Puerto Rico

Spain’s Alvaro Arbeloa, right, vies with Puerto Rico’s Alexis Rivera during a friendly soccer match in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, on Wednesday.

Photo: Reuters

Santi Cazorla and Cesc Fabregas scored goals in the opening half for world champions Spain, who beat Puerto Rico 2-1, stretching their unbeaten streak to 12 straight matches.

It marked the first match for Spain since winning back-to-back European Championship titles last month.

Cazorla scored in the 42nd minute and Fabregas added a second goal in the 45th with a low volley on Wednesday.

Marc Cintron scored 19 minutes into the second half for Puerto Rico as he beat Spanish goalkeeper Pepe Reina.

Gerard Pique almost opened the scoring for La Roja in the 12th minute, but his header off a corner kick from Cazorla had goalkeeper Bill Gaudette beat, but it ringed off the post.

Atletico Madrid fullback Juan Francisco Torres — known as Juanfran — had to leave the game in the first half with a right knee injury.

Cazorla scored his goal on a low drive that took a hop before it reached Gaudette. He entered the game as a replacement for Xavi Hernandez and will soon be making his debut for Arsenal FC in the English Premier League.

Fabregas made it 2-0 with a nice volley off a center from Jesus Navas.

Spain allowed a goal for the first time in five matches when Cintron rose above Sergio Ramos to head the ball past Reina halfway through the second half.

Spain easily held on for the win from there against heavy underdogs Puerto Rico, who are ranked 138th in the world, compared with No. 1 Spain.

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