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Villa's Goal Steals Late Win for Spain World Cup Qualifier
    2008-10-16 08:51:28     Xinhua

Spain striker David Villa scored a 90th minute goal to claim a dramatic 2-1 win for his side in Belgium in the World Cup qualifier on Wednesday night.

 

Villa headed home a cross from Dani Guiza to give his side all three points in their World Cup qualifying game against one of the toughest rivals in their group.

 

The goal also served to maintain Vicente del Bosque's 100 percent record as Spain coach.

 

However, the win came at a cost for the Spanish, who lost striker Fernando Torres with a torn hamstring muscle midway through the first half. The Liverpool striker could now miss his side's Champions League game away to Atletico Madrid next week.

 

Spain's win also showed that Del Bosque's side have personality as well as some fine players as they had to fight their way back into the match after conceding the first goal of the game to Belgian forward Sonck, who headed home a cross from Kompany after just six minutes.

 

When Torres limped off just 10 minutes later to be replaced by Cesc Fabrigas, the Spanish looked to be on the ropes. However, after being under pressure for the first half hour of the match they were back on level terms.

 

Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta produced a piece of individual skill in the Belgian penalty area before leveling the scores with a fine solo effort.

 

Given what both sides had produced, the Spanish had every reason to feel relieved to go in 1-1 at half time, although Villa did give two warnings of his potential before the whistle was blown.

 

The second period again began with Belgium pressing for a goal and the Spanish back on the back foot, although this time the goal didn't arrive and Spain were able to take the ball into the home side's half with more frequency as time passed.

 

Nevertheless there were few clear chances for Del Bosque's men and the Spain coach made a bold move with just five minutes remaining when he replaced the goal scorer Iniesta with striker Dani Guiza.

 

It turned out to be a decisive move, because with time running out it was Guiza who put the ball into the box for Villa to head home the winner.

 

The goal may have been more than the Spanish deserved. But it serves to prove that the Spanish will be one of the teams to beat in the 2010 World Cup because their four wins from four games.

 
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