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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Belgium1, Spain 2

The very familar sight of Villa celebrating after a score.

Belgium 1, Spain 2

The other night during the World Cup qualifying match between Spain and Belgium, the Spanish television announcer said that it has been a great pleasure for him to be able to watch the Spanish squad over the past year or so. I couldn't agree more. It's impossible not to enjoy watching a team that hasn't lost or tied a match in all this time. Wednesday night's game in Belgium was one of the biggest pleasure I have witnessed thus far in their amazing campaign—but perhaps I am forgetting all of those other great matches. Once again, it was Valencia CF forward, David Villa, who came through for Spain, although it's hard to pick out one player for praise in this squad that plays so incredibly well together. Villa's goal came in the last minute to snatch another victory for Spain from the clutches of a draw in a hard fought match.

It's not just the winning that makes this team such a joy to watch. They are incredibly creative at making plays. Cesc Fàbregas, the Arsenal midfielder, is almost too clever for his own very clever teammates with some of the passes he makes. The other players have to be thinking five steps ahead to keep up with where he is likely to place the ball—and he doesn't even start most games.

Belgium scored first and played a very physical game against the smaller Spanish team. Villa got roughed up pretty thoroughly during the match and he even got into a bit of a shoving match with a defender. I couldn't believe that Spain might actually have to settle for a draw. In the end—the very end—he had his revenge taking a perfect pass from Güiza and heading into the goal.

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