Luis Milla’s Spain team crashed out of the Olympic Games after suffering a shock 1-0 defeat to Honduras at St James’ Park.
An early header from Jerry Bengston proved enough for the Central Americans to overcome a powerful Spanish team that had lost their opening Group D game by a similar margin to Japan.
Milla had promised before the game that Spain would take the game to their opponents and they started brightly, but it was the Hondurans that took the lead after just seven minutes when Bengston rose unchallenged in the box to nod home a Roger Espinosa cross.
Spain continued to dominate possession but struggled to make any worthwhile opportunities, with Honduras looking dangerous on the break, their best chances of the first half falling to Chelsea’s Juan Mata who twice failed to hit the target just before the interval.
The second half started in much the same way as the first and the Spaniards almost fell for another sucker punch when Espinoza headed onto a post as La Rojita continued to live dangerously.
However, Spain almost got back on level terms minutes later when Martin Montoya’s cross was headed against the bar by Atletico Madrid striker Adrian.
It was a similar story on 70 minutes, Spain striking the woodwork again when Iker Muniain, brought into the team in place of Rodrigo, fired against a post from outside the area with goalkeeper Jose Mendoza well beaten.
Adrian was again involved when he had an appeal for a penalty turned down after being brought down by Arnold Peralta, but it was not proving to be Spain’s night as they hit the framework for a third time eight minutes from the end, substitute Rodrigo the guilty party when he should have done much better.
Milla’s men were then denied another penalty late on with Adrian once more on the receiving end, but referee Soto waved away the Spanish protests and Honduras clung on for a deserved victory.
Spain 0-1 Honduras
Scorers: Bengston 7 (H),
Spain: De Gea; Montoya, Dominguez, Botia, Alba; J Martinez (Tello 83), Muniain, Isco (Rodrigo 65), Koke (Herrera 45); Mata, Adrian
Honduras: Mendoza; Crisanto, Leveron, Velazquez, Figueroa; Peralta, Martinez, Najar (Mejia 56), Espinoza (Peralta 72), Garrido; Bengston (Lozano 81)
Referee: Soto (Ven)