Torres scores as Spain ease past Bolivia

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, May 31, 2014
Adjust font size:

Spain defeated Bolivia 2-0 in Seville on Friday in their penultimate preparation game before starting the defense of their world title on June 13.

A Fernando Torres penalty and a neat finish from Andres Iniesta gave Spain a low key win against a Bolivia team, who defended solidly in a game which made it clear that Spain's main problem in the World Cup could be the lack of an effective center-forward.

Without players from Atletico and Real Madrid, Spain coach Vicente del Bosque handed a debut to Athletic Club Bilbao midfielder, Ander Iturraspe, who lined up alongside Xavi Hernandez and Santi Cazorla.

Meanwhile Javi Martinez and Gerard Pique played in central defense and Torres made his first appearance in attack for Spain since last year's Confederations Cup.

Spain's first chance came after 10 minutes when Pedro Rodriguez's cross from the right fell to Hernandez, whose volley was deflected over by the defense.

The world champions were controlling the ball, but Bolivia put up a spirited defense with Spain's best chances coming from outside the area as Cesar Azpilicueta saw a shot hit the outside of the post before Pedro's effort was saved by Bolivia keeper Romen Quinonez

Meanwhile it was a frustrating return for Torres who worked hard, but rarely received the ball in dangerous positions.

Torres did open the scoring 5 minutes after the break, however, scoring from the penalty spot after the referee had given a slightly rigorous penalty for a possible push on Martinez.

The Chelsea striker should have doubled the lead almost directly afterwards but lifted the ball high over the bar after being put through by Iniesta, who had entered the pitch as a halftime substitute.

Torres soon left the pitch as Del Bosque introduced three changes with Cesc Fabrigas, Sergio Busquets and David Silva coming onto the pitch.

Fabrigas and Silva's entrance began to cause problems for the Bolivia defense as they didn't have a fixed striker to mark and both he and Pedro began to look difficult as they ran into space. Had Pedro controlled the ball with 15 minutes remaining, it would have been 2-0, but the ball went long and allowed Quinonez to smother his attempted shot.

Gerard Deulofeu made his debut with 12 minutes remaining when he replaced Pedro and with five minutes remaining Iniesta put some gloss on the score with Spain's second of the game.

The Bolivia defense stood off and allowed the midfielder to advance to the edge of the area and allowed Iniesta to curl the ball in at the far post.

Busquets hit the post in the closing minutes, but another goal would have been unfair in a game where Spain were in control but failed to answer some doubts about their play in the run up to the World Cup.

Del Bosque will give his definitive 23-man squad on Saturday before the chosen players fly to Washington DC on June 2nd.

Spain will take on El Salvador in Washington before kicking off the defense of their title against Holland on June 13.

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from