World Cup Soccer Roundup : Spain Gets Needed Win; Poland Defeats Portugal
Spain, needing some fast action to stay in the running for the second round of the World Cup, turned to star striker Emilio Butrageno Saturday.
Butrageno, known as “the Vulture,” swooped in for a goal just 53 seconds into the game and added an assist to lead the Spanish squad to a 2-1 victory over Northern Ireland at Guadalajara.
Spain’s victory broke Northern Ireland’s nine-game unbeaten string and compensated for a 1-0 defeat at Madrid four years ago. The Irish had allowed just three goals in those nine games and had tied Algeria, 1-1, in their World Cup opener.
Spain lost to Brazil, 1-0, in its first game but got back into the running quickly against the Irish when Butrageno struck for the earliest goal of the tournament. He took a pass from Miguel Gonzalez in front of the net and beat diving goalkeeper Pat Jennings.
A breakdown in the Irish defense and the quick work of Butrageno gave Spain its second goal. After the defense failed to clear to the right of Jennings, Butrageno pounced on the ball and fed Julio Salinas. Jennings was moving to his left when Salinas shot to the right to score at 18 minutes.
Colin Clarke scored the Northern Ireland goal in the first minute of the second half. Spanish defender Ricardo Gallego attempted an unwise header back pass, and Clarke beat Jennings to the ball and headed it into the net.
Poland 1, Portugal 0--Wlodzimierz Smolarek scored in the 68th minute to give the Poles a victory at Monterrey.
Smolarek took a lob pass and slid the ball under lunging goalkeeper Vitor Manuel Damas.
Poland tops Group F with three points, Portugal and Morocco have two points and England has one.