Tuesday, June 14, 2011

14 June 2009 - Spain's Better-Than-Magical Moment

On 14 June 2009, Spain beat New Zealand for their 33rd consecutive unbeaten match, surpassing the previous record of 32 set by the Magical Magyars of Hungary.

Hungary's streak ran from June 1950 to June 1954 and included the 1952 Olympic gold medal and a trip to the 1954 World Cup Final. After losing 0-1 to Romania in Cadiz on 15 November 2006, Spain started their unbeaten run on 2 February 2007, beating England in a friendly played in Manchester, 0-1. Their streak carried them through qualification for Euro 2008, then through the tournament itself, which they won by beating Germany in the Final. That was their 22nd unbeaten match.

The record-breaking match came in the FIFA Confederations Cup, played in Rustenburg, South Africa. Spain got goals from Fernando Torres (pictured) (6', 14', 17'), Cesc Fabregas (24'), and David Villa (48') en route to a comfortable 0-5 victory. It was their second biggest scoreline during the streak, coming after a 6-0 win over Azerbaijan in a friendly five days earlier.

Spain followed their record victory with wins over Iraq (1-0) and South Africa (2-0) to stretch their unbeaten run to 35 consecutive matches before it ended in the semifinals with a 2-0 loss to the United States.

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