A goal from David Silva four minutes from time was enough for the world and European champions to claim victory in Madrid.
Despite boasting a 100% record in EURO 2012 qualifying Group I, Spain had suffered heavy defeats by Portugal and Argentina in their previous two friendly outings, and they came close to slipping up again at the Bernabéu, with their opponents spurning several presentable opportunities to spring a surprise.
From one such opening, Abel Aguilar had a close-range shot beaten out by Iker Casillas, but soon after that it was Spain’s David Villa who was left ruing a missed chance. Looking to take the outright lead in his country’s all-time goalscoring charts, the Barcelona striker hit the base of a post before scuffing the rebound wide.
The visitors rallied and, either side of the break, Pablo Armero and Juan Guillermo Cuadrado both missing good opportunities when well positioned. Home captain Casillas was increasingly called into action as the half progressed, keeping out Fredy Guarín’s blast from distance before narrowing the angle of his goal to prevent Hugo Rodallega from finding the target.
With momentum clearly on the side of Colombia, Spain struck on the counterattack, snatching the winner when Santi Cazorla fed Jesús Navas, whose low cross was stabbed in by Silva.