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BBC's Ian Brown
"Hardly convincing, but the Spanish have a win under their belts"
 real 28k

Sunday, 18 June, 2000, 17:58 GMT 18:58 UK
Spain back on track
Alfonso & Milanic
Alfonso of Spain holds off Slovenia's Milanic
Slovenia 1-2 Spain
(Amsterdam - 45,000)

Spain are back in contention for a Euro 2000 quarter-final place after beating Slovenia 2-1 in Amsterdam.

Spain played with an industry and passion missing from their 1-0 Group C defeat by Norway, but Slovenia gave them a run for their money.

The opening goal came in the fifth minute when Raul lashed the ball past Dabanovic in the Slovenian goal after a shot from Salgado was deflected into his path.

Slovenia levelled after 59 minutes when Zahovic slipped the ball past Spanish goalkeeper Canizares after team-mate Osterc had missed Redonja's cross.

But Spain were back in front just a minute later as a surging run from Mendieta put Etxeberria through to score the winner.

Dominated

Spain dominated the first half without creating many opportunities, and Slovenia had little chance to test them with the passing game that worked so well in the 3-3 draw with Yugoslavia.

Valeron nearly put Mendieta through in the 18th minute as the Spanish assault continued, but the Slovenian defence cleared the danger.

Slovenia's first real chance came on the half-hour as Novak pulled an inviting ball across the Spanish box from the right, but Redonja's shot was deflected wide.


Raul
Raul celebrates with Etxeberria
Raul came close again just before half-time, but Slovenia finished the first period strongly, with Redonja forcing Canizares into his first save of the game.

Raul was nearly on target again five minutes after the break when his powerful header from Aranzabal's cross went just wide, but Slovenia hit back immediately, with Pavlin going close.

Zahovic's equaliser, followed by Etxeberria's strike, really brought the game to life in the second half, with headers from Galic for Slovenia and Spain's Abelardo threatening to add to the tally.

Zahovic tried to beat Canizares from 45 yards when he spotted the keeper off his line, and Slovenia - urged on by their fans - never gave up the chase and finished looking the stronger side.

But Spain held on and now face Yugoslavia in their final group game for a place in the last eight.


Slovenia: Dabanovic, Milinovic, Milanic (Knavs 68), Galic, Novak, Ceh, Udovic (Osterc 46), Zahovic, Pavlin (Acimovic 82), Rudonja, Karic.

Spain: Canizares, Salgado, Aranzabal, Guardiola (Helguera 81), Abelardo, Hierro, Raul, Perez Munoz (Urzaiz Aranda 71), Mendieta, Etxeberria, Valeron (Engonga 88).

Referee: M Merk (Germany)

Search BBC Euro 2000

 

See also:

18 Jun 00 | Spain
Slovenia v Spain clockwatch
16 Jun 00 | Spain
Spain out to win at all costs
16 Jun 00 | Slovenia
Fiorentina eye Zahovic swoop
18 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Slovenia v Spain in pictures
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