Team Spain blanks Russia in International Madrid Open

In the inaugural game of the International Madrid Open of American Football, Team Spain used a strong second half to pull away and defeat Team Russia 27-0 Saturday at Ciudad del Fútbol de Las Rozas stadium  in Madrid.

The victory was historic as it marked the first win ever for the Spanish national team. Team Spain lost a controversial game to Team Belgium, 18-16 a year ago. In 2016, they dropped a tough 14-6 decision to the BelgiansSpain lost to Israel in a European qualification game in 2015, 28-20.

Coached by Euro veteran Talib Wise, the Spanish squad took a 3-0 lead at half time and then scored unanswered second-half touchdowns for the win.

Running back Marcos de la Mata, who was named MVP of the game, scored a touchdown while Juan Hervás scored a touchdown and kicked two field goals for Spain.  Ignacio Valero added a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Both teams opened the game tentatively with defenses dominating. Spain found the red zone a couple of times but without converting.

De la Mata broke the game open in the third quarter with a spectacular touchdown run giving Spain a 10-0 lead midway through the quarter.

That broke open the flood gates for Spain as they scored 17 fourth quarter points with Hervás kicking another field goal early in the quarter and then Valero and Hervás scoring touchdowns.


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