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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Toothless Spain Held to Draw by Russians

ReutersRussia's Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, left, defending in Albacete, Spain, on Saturday.
ALBACETE, Spain -- Spain displayed its customary problems in attack as it was held to a 0-0 draw by Russia in a World Cup warm-up in Albacete on Saturday.

Coach Luis Aragones tried out the new 4-3-3 formation he wants to use in Germany, with Fernando Torres, Luis Garcia and David Villa starting up front, and all three had good chances in the opening 20 minutes but could not find the net.

Although monopolizing possession, Spain failed to build on the promising start and failed to breach a well-drilled defense.

"In the first half, we had some good chances, but it's difficult when your opponents only set out to defend," said Aragones. "We tried to win, and I just hope we can put away the chances we missed today when we play a more important game."

Midfielder Xabi Alonso said the team was concerned by its failure to get on the scoresheet.

"You can only win games by scoring goals, and obviously we are worried by the fact that we are not getting them at the moment," the Liverpool player told reporters.

Spain is now unbeaten in 20 games but will need a major improvement to seriously challenge for the World Cup.

Its defense was given a couple of scares by the quick-breaking Russians, who failed to qualify for the World Cup, and keeper Iker Casillas had to react sharply to save a well-struck volley from Alexander Anyukov after the half hour.

Aragones changed his midfield at halftime, bringing on Alonso, Xavi and local favorite Andres Iniesta for his first senior cap, while skipper Raul replaced Luis Garcia up front.

Raul had a great chance to break the deadlock in the second half after skipping past two defenders, but scuffed the ball 10 yards wide of the post with just the keeper to beat.

Fellow substitute Jose Antonio Reyes went far closer 16 minutes from time with a rasping drive from 30 meters, but was denied when Igor Akinfeyev produced a fine diving save.

Spain plays further warm-up games against African champions Egypt in Elche, Spain, and fellow World Cup qualifiers Croatia before departing for the finals in Germany.

It opens its campaign against Ukraine in Leipzig, Germany, on June 14 and also plays Tunisia and Saudi Arabia in Group H.