Riera hits winner for Spain

Liverpool winger Albert Riera scored the winning goal as Spain came from 2-0 behind to defeat Macedonia 3-2 on Wednesday night.

On an emotional night for the Spaniards following the death of Espanyol captain Daniel Jarque last week, it was fitting Riera, Jarque’s former team mate, scored the winner before dedicating the goal to him; “It was for him, for his family, for Espanyol.”

Both teams observed a minute’s applause before the match, while the Spain team wore shirts bearing Jarque’s name. Jarque died at the age of 26 on Saturday after his heart stopped following a training session in Coverciano, Italy where the Barcelona-based club were on a pre-season camp.

After Macedonia had taken a 2-0 lead early on through Pandev’s two strikes, Fernando Torres scored Spain’s first just after the interval before Gerard Pique equalised and Riera added a third – all within five minutes. Istanbul all over again!

Pepe Reina started the match, as did former Reds Alvaro Arbeloa and Xabi Alonso. Riera came on at half time while Torres played 64 minutes.