Spain held in Romania on record night for Casillas
Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas equalled the record of most international caps for a European player on Sunday as two-time defending European champions Spain drew 0-0 against Romania in Cluj.
Casillas, who made his national team debut in June 2000, returned after sitting out Thursday’s 1-1 draw in Italy to move level with former Latvia midfielder Vitalijs Astafjevs on 166 appearances.
Romania meanwhile took to the field for the warm-up wearing training tops featuring maths problems, rather than shirt numbers, as part of an initiative aimed at combating the country’s poor school dropout rate.
Barcelona midfielder Sergi Roberto was handed his Spain debut as Vicente del Bosque made wholesale changes to the side that played in Udine three days ago, with their opening game at Euro 2016 just over two months away.
Gerard Pique and Pedro Rodriguez tested Romania keeper Ciprian Tatarusanu early on, while Casillas — still well shy of Egyptian Ahmed Hassan’s all-time record of 184 international caps — was twice forced to turn away efforts from Nicolae Stanciu.
Pique fired straight at Tatarusanu just after half-time after a corner found the Barcelona defender unmarked beyond the far post, but Spain found a Romanian defence that conceded just twice in 10 qualifying matches difficult to break down.
Romania, who qualified for the finals in France as runners-up in Group F, stretched their unbeaten run to 16 matches — a sequence which includes five goalless draws — with Spain now turning their focus towards a third straight European crown.