A draw for Spain (1-1) and goals for Ibra and Bojan
The first batch of friendlies of the new season produced a draw for the World Champions Spain in Mexico and goals for Ibrahimovic and Bojan against Scotland and Finland.
Vicente Del Bosque’s call-up of a large group of Barça players so soon after their summer
break led many commentators to question what part they would take in the friendly against Mexico in
the Aztec Stadium. In the end, Busquets was on the pitch for 61minutes, Puyol and Valdés 45, Xavi
29, Piqué 25 and Pedro 20. Villa was the only Barça player to make the trip to Mexico that took no
part in the match.
Busquets and Puyol in the starting line-up
Busquets and Puyol featured in the staring line-up but were unable to prevent Mexico
taking the lead after a quarter of an hour. The goal scorer was Chicharito Hernandez, who recently
signed for Manchester United.
The rest of the Barça contingent came on in the second half. For Valdes it was his second
international appearance and he has still not conceded a goal with Spain. Pedro came on towards the
end of the second half and did much to revitalize the team. Xavi provided the final pass for Silva
to equalize in injury time.
Bojan’s goal not enough
Meanwhile, Spain under-21s also had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Finland in a vital match
to earn a place in the London Olympic Games in 2012. Bojan and Jeffren lined up in the starting
eleven and it was a piece of individual skill by Bojan that provoked a penalty in the 31st minute,
which the young striker himself converted from the spot.
Wins for Sweden, Argentina and Belarus
Another Barça striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, was also on the score sheet this
Wednesday in his first game back with Sweden after a period of self-imposed exile. He got the
opening goal (min.4) in Stockholm against Scotland and played 58 minutes in total. Sweden finished
with a comfortable 3-0 win.
Over in Dublin, Leo Messi’s Argentina beat Ireland 0-1. Messi also played 58 minutes.
Finally, Hleb played in Belarus’ 0-2 defeat of Lithuania, both goals coming from his brother.