Young Spanish debutants beat Lithuania 4-0, France win 3-0
LONDON (AP) – The Spanish young rookie group beat Lithuania 4-0 in a European Championship warm-up on Tuesday.
The Spain squad consisted of players from the Under-21 squad, as well as their coach, after captain Sergio Busquets tested positive for COVID-19.
Of the 20 players called up for the game, 19 had never played for the senior national team.
The friendly match counted as a first team match, with caps and official debuts for coach Luis de la Fuente with the main team.
De la Fuente named 10 rookies plus Bryan Gil in the starting lineup. The last time Spain had 10 debutants for a senior international was in 1941, against Portugal, after the team had not played since the start of the Spanish Civil War in 1936.
Valencia defender Hugo Guillamón gave Spain a perfect start in the third minute and Brahim Díaz doubled his lead in the 24th before Abel Ruiz was saved by Lithuanian goalkeeper Tomas Švedkauskas.
Juan Miranda curled up on a free kick nine minutes after the start of the second half and his other substitute Javi Puado capped a great night for the youngsters in the 73rd.
Euro 2020 starts on Friday. Spain will play their first game on Monday against Sweden in Sevilla. Luis Enrique has until Saturday to make changes to his squad due to injuries or COVID-19.
Karim Benzema’s return to international football continues to turn sour as the French striker suffered a limp injury in his side’s 3-0 win over Bulgaria.
Benzema saved a penalty and hit the post last week in his first appearance for France in almost six years.
He only lasted 41 minutes on Tuesday before being sent off. But France coach Didier Deschamps – with whom Benzema argued over the alleged player’s role in a sex tape scandal – dismissed concerns, saying it was just a dead leg .
Benzema substitute Olivier Giroud scored a late brace in the final seven minutes to secure victory for the world champions after Antoine Griezmann opened the scoring in the 29th.
Giroud, 34, has now scored 46 goals for France, just five goals off Thierry Henry’s all-time record.
The Czech Republic beat Albania 3-1, while Iceland drew 2-2 in Poland and Hungary was held 0-0 by Ireland.
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