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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Spain Back in Business After Narrow Win Over Slovenia




AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- Spain struggled to a 2-1 win over outsider Slovenia on Sunday to revive its hopes of reaching the last eight of Euro 2000.


But the Spaniards again failed to live up to their billing as one of the favorites and can thank a goalkeeping error from Slovenia's Mladen Dabanovic for their narrow victory.


Dabanovic appeared to have a shot from Spanish midfielder Joseba Etxeberria covered at his near post, but the ball flew through his outstretched hands for the 60th-minute winner.


Slovenia's goal was a strange one to which striker Zlatko Zahovic laid claim.


Zahovic and teammate Milan Osterc got in each other's way as they went for a low cross, but Zahovic got a touch that sent the ball bobbling past wrong-footed goalkeeper Santiago Canizares.


Spain had been given a perfect start when Raul cracked home a half volley in the fourth minute, but the team never really clicked as a unit and was grateful to scrape by with a win.


Spanish coach Jose Antonio Camacho had no time for critics who said Spain should have done better against Slovenia.


"Those people don't know very much about football," Camacho said. "Our aim was to win and we did that."


Camacho had made four changes to his starting lineup, introducing goalkeeper Canizares, defender Abelardo, midfielder Gaizka Mendieta and Alfonso to partner Raul up front.


Slovenia was unchanged from the side that had led Yugoslavia 3-0 before being pegged back to 3-3.


Slovenia recovered from a tentative start to threaten Spain on the break, and the Spaniards were rescued by several good saves from Canizares.


Zahovic came close to equalizing in the 66th, but Canizares made a fine one-handed stop from a curling shot.


Canizares had to sprint from his goal to block the onrushing Mladen Rudonja near halftime.


He then got back into his goal in time to save Rudonja's low shot at the end of the move.


Slovenian coach Srecko Katanec said he wasn't impressed by Spain.


"There was no element of the game in which Spain were better than us," Katanec said.


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Group A


Team P W D L F A Pts


Portugal 2 2 0 0 4 2 6


England 2 1 0 1 3 3 3


Germany 2 0 1 1 1 2 1


Romania 2 0 1 1 1 2 1


England 1, Germany 0


Portugal 1, Romania 0


Tuesday's games


England vs. Romania 10:45 p.m.


Portugal vs. Germany 10:45 p.m.


Group B


Team P W D L F A Pts


Italy 2 2 0 0 4 1 6


Belgium 2 1 0 1 2 3 3


Sweden 2 0 1 1 1 2 1


Turkey 2 0 1 1 1 2 1


Group C


Team P W D L F A Pts


Yugoslavia 2 1 1 0 4 3 4


Norway 2 1 0 1 1 1 3


Spain 2 1 0 1 2 2 3


Slovenia 2 0 1 1 4 5 1


Yugoslavia 1, Norway 0


Spain 2, Slovenia 1


Group D


Team P W D L F A Pts


France 2 2 0 0 5 1 6


Netherlands 2 2 0 0 4 0 6


Czech Rep. 2 0 0 2 1 3 0


Denmark 2 0 0 2 0 6 0


France 2, Czech Republic 1


Netherlands 3, Denmark 0