However COSTA RICA nearly "rained" on the special day for Casillas & the current World Champions drawing with SPAIN 2 - 2 & again lifting Spanish eye-brows & some enquiring questions. Costa Rica played an excellent match & were more motived than the Spaniards who looked slow & sloppy, something unusual in the first 45 mins. The Spanish Team has become predictable & opponents can figure out what & where they need to tighten the screws to make Spain suffer for their victories. This, & the lately acquired habit of Spain insisting in attacking via the middle makes the FIFA World Champions smash into the opponents defensive wall. But to Spain´s credit they managed to comeback with pride in the 2º half when they changed the playing style & finally used the wings.
Costa Rica did their initial damage in the 1ºst half being very aggressive, blocking the Spanish ball dominance & working their counter-attacking style. The first goal came via a Casillas mistake that allowed RANDELL BRENES to chip over for the first goal in the 30th min.
Costa Rica continued with their game plan & JOEL CAMPBELL curled a "beauty" out of reach of a stretching Casillas. The Spanish defence was not looking good at this stage.
The 2º half saw Spain change tactically & bring on right winger Navas (for Mata) , Cazorla (Xavi), Busquet (for Xabi Alonso)...pushing Iniesta to the left wing. Spanish Coach Del Bosque was looking to break the "go through the middle" habit & it seemed to work. The Spaniards increased their efficiency further when David Silva came on & the chances of goal began to appear. David Villa & Iniesta had some really close calls as Costa Rica goalie Navas began working with some important saves & then the mistake by Costa Rica Coach Pinto that changed his set up to defend: Spain then was handed the iniciative.
The goal chances began following - Ramos missed a header - & then Iniesta from his wing found DAVID SILVA who scored in the 83rd min. The equalizer came in the last moment via DAVID VILLA in the 90+ min. Spain saved by a hair.
Admirable the comeback by Spain which played a lot better in the second half & deserved their goals; Costa Rica wrongly decided to only defend & pass the initiative to Spain when they were 2 goals ahead & finally some need for analysis of the Spanish play & attempt to rectify some bad habits before the big 2012 Euro Championships
Next International Friendly for Spain will be February 2011.