For the first time as world champion, Spain managed to win an exhibition game.
David Silva scored in the 86th minute to give Spain a 1-0 win over Colombia on Wednesday night.
Since beating the Netherlands in the World Cup final last July, La Furia Roja had played three exhibitions, a 1-1 tie at Mexico in August followed by a 4-1 loss at Argentina in September and a 4-0 defeat at Portugal in November.
During the same period, Spain went 3-0 in competitive matches by winning European Championship qualifiers at Liechtenstein (4-0), against Lithuania (3-1) and at Scotland (3-2).
In the first game between the teams since a 1-1 tie at Bogota in 1981, Colombia created better opportunities at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas made stops against Giovanni Moreno, Pablo Armero and Carlos Sanchez.
“The most important thing was to win the game,” Spain coach Vicente del Bosque said. “Whether we played well or not, the effort by the players was there.”
Silva darted into the penalty area to beat defender Mario Yepes and redirect Jesus Navas’ centering pass past goalkeeper David Ospina.
“We were clear about how we had to play against a rival that loves to have the ball. But it’s tiring to play without the ball,” said Colombia coach Hernan Dario Gomez, who applauded his team’s effort but not its poor finishing. “Colombia has to score goals and because we didn’t, we leave frustrated.”