Lopetegui pleased but cautious as Spain thrash Argentina

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Madrid, March 28 (IANS) Spain head coach Julen Lopetegui was full of praise for his side after they thrashed Argentina 6-1 in a World Cup warm up game here.

However, Lopetegui warned that the result in Madrid on Tuesday night would count for nothing when Spain kick off their World Cup campaign against Portugal in June, reports Xinhua news agency.

Real Madrid attacking midfielder Isco scored a hat-trick and there were goals from Diego Costa, Thiago Alcantara and Iago Aspas, who also provided three assists in a brilliant second half performance.

“I congratulated and thanked the players, but this hasn’t started yet. We have beaten a side with a fantastic history and the finalist in the last World Cup, but we will kick off the next World Cup with no points,” Lopetegui said in his post-game press conference.

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Argentina’s defeat was watched from the stands by Lionel Messi, while Sergio ‘Kun’ Aguero and Angel Di Maria were out of the Argentinean side.

“The result and the game were real,” Lopetegui said, adding that Spain were also without Sergio Busquets.

“It is a friendly and not the same as a World Cup game, but we have to be happy,” the Spain coach said.

Lopetegui expressed satisfaction at the way Spain were able to shake off early Argentinean pressure before Diego Costa’s opening goal.

Finally he also expressed happiness with the way Thiago Alcantara covered for the injured Busquets: “(Thiago) is a player who likes football, who wants to learn and who also scored a goal,” Lopetegui said.

–IANS

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