The World Cup winners drew a packed house to the Azteca (AP Photo).
The World Cup winners needed a last ditch effort to attain the draw, however:
MEXICO CITY (AP) — David Silva scored two minutes into second-half stoppage time, giving Spain a 1-1 exhibition tie against Mexico on Wednesday in the first match for La Furia Roja since winning the World Cup.
Javier Hernandez put Mexico ahead in the 12th minute of a game to mark the 200th anniversary of Mexican independence from Spain.
Spain arrived Monday and had little time to adjust to the 7,350-foot altitude. The champions opened with only three players who started the July 11 World Cup final victory over the Netherlands: goalkeeper Iker Casillas, defender Carles Puyol and midfielder Sergio Busquets.
Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque made eight substitutions in the second half, bringing on World Cup starters Sergio Ramos, Xabi Alonso and Xavi Hernandez.
“This was a party more than a game,” Mexican captain Rafael Marquez said.
Eight players started for Mexico from the 3-1 second-round loss to Argentina.
“We had more control than Mexico, but we lacked width and failed to get in deep,” Del Bosque said. “Without much preparation, my players played like they had spent time training when, in truth, some trained for the first time yesterday.”
Mexico’s green jerseys and Spain’s red and yellow — many bearing the lone star to signify the World Cup win — filled a near-sellout crowd at 100,000-capacity-plus Azteca Stadium.
Del Bosque said he was sensitive to demands from Barcelona and Real Madrid that their players be rested, with the Spanish and European seasons about to begin.
Casillas was just as up front, saying his team lacked the “appropriate preparation” with the vast majority having only recently returned from vacation.
The match was without much contact, allowing both teams to have long spells of possession without many scoring threats. Rain fell in the second half, slowing the match and probably adding to the caution.
Marquez, newly signed by the New York Red Bulls, had a 20-yard shot that was stopped by Casillas in the 32nd. Carlos Vela shot just wide minutes later, and Marquez missed a 20-yard free kick in first-half injury time.
Spain had more of the play in the second half. After his goal, Silva shot across the front of the goal a few seconds later.