In their friendship with the Netherlands on Wednesday evening, Real Betis midfielder Sergio Canales scored his first goal for the senior Spanish national team only to be canceled out by a second-half Donny van de Beek shot.

This season, Canales has been in fine form and epitomized the influence of an unconventional lineup demonstrated in Spain in depth. After being fed by Alvaro Morata, the Cantabrian ended coolly on his left foot at the edge of the box in the 19th minute.

Only for the Netherlands to re-emerge for the second with a renewed focus, La Roja looked the more experienced side in the first half, soon finding an equalizer through Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek. To find him unmarked, Owen Wijndal lifted the ball to the back post, and he converted well.

In many respects, it was a true international friendly, with a slew of substitutions in the second half adding to the lack of a genuine flow to the game.

Two early injuries hindered the atmosphere: Nathan Ake left the pitch for the hosts six minutes in after pulling up sharply while Jose Gaya was hospitalized after a bad collision on the half-hour mark.

A significant landmark that came out of the game was that Sergio Ramos, center-back of Real Madrid, matched Gianluigi Buffon of Italy to become the European footballer to have made the most appearances for his national team, with 176.

On Saturday, when La Roja takes on Switzerland in the Nations League before locking horns with Germany next week the Andalusian could surpass Buffon. His debut for Spain was also made by Atletico Madrid midfielder Marcos Llorente, following in the footsteps of his father, great uncle, and maternal grandfather.


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