WORLD CUP: Villa brace ensures comfortable Spain victory

The scoreline may only have been 2-0 in Spain’s favour but the gulf in class between the European Champions and Honduras was immense.
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The scoreline may only have been 2-0 in Spain’s favour but the gulf in class between the European Champions and Honduras was immense.

Spain: 2
Honduras: 0

Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg

Crowd: 54,386

Officials Referee: Yuichi Nishimura (Japan)
Assistants: Hassan Kamranifar (Iran) and Saleh A Marzouqi (UAE)
Fourth official: Martin Vazquez (Uruguay)

Yellow cards: SPA - None HON - Izaguirre, Turcios

Red cards: None

MATCH REPORT

When Spain suffered their shock opening game defeat to Switzerland there was no panic as their performance did not warrant such a result. Against Honduras Spain played their wonderful passing game to perfection, the only thing missing was more goals.

And in such a tight group were goal difference could be critical Spain may well regret not at least doubling the scoreline. David Villa scored twice and then missed an opportunity for his hat trick by missing a second half penalty.

Such profligacy was a symptom of Spain’s performance who tended to over elaborate and were simply not clinical enough when the frequent chances arrived.

At least they have the three points and even before the first goal on 16 minutes Fernando Torres and Sergio Ramos had missed good chances.

Villa had earlier hit the crossbar with a 25 yard but was not to be denied with a brilliant solo goal. Bursting past three players from the left he found the back of the net with a sublime sliding finish.

Spain continued to press as Honduras defended desperately. Twice Torres missed the target when it seemed the Liverpool striker must score.

Villa’s second just after the break should have signalled an avalanche of goals but for all their cutting and incisive approach play, their finishing was not clinical enough.

For once a sweeping Spain move had an end product as Villa’s strike took a deflection before finding the back of the net. Just on the half hour the Barcelona striker had the opportunity for his hat trick but amazingly side-footed wide.

The game then went off the boil as Spain slowed the game down, and whilst still creating chances Honduras tightened up at the back and began making forays forward.

Cesc Fabregas almost scored within seconds of coming on as a substitute as he rounded keeper Noel Valladares but saw his shot cleared off the line.

Villa had a couple more efforts to claim the match ball but overall there was a feeling that Spain need to find their scoring touch to go with their approach play.

Starting Line-Ups

SPA

1. Iker Casillas
15. Garcia Sergio Ramos (Arbeloa, 76)
5. Carles Puyol
3. Gerard Pique
11. Joan Capdevila
22. Gonzalez Jesus Navas
16. Sergio Busquets
14. Xabi Alonso
8. Hernandez Xavi (Fabregas, 65)
9. Fernando Torres (Mata, 70)
7. David Villa

SUBS

12. Victor Valdes (GK)
2. Raul Albiol
4. Carlos Marchena
6. Andres Iniesta
10. Francesc Fabregas
13. Juan Mata
17. Alvaro Arbeloa
18. Rodriguez Pedro
19. Fernando Llorente
20. Aguinaga Javi Martinez
21. David Silva
23. Jose Reina (GK)

HON

18. Noel Valladares
23. Sergio Mendoza
2. Osman Chavez
3. Maynor Figueroa
21. Emilio Izaguirre
8. Wilson Palacios
20. Amado Guevara
19. Danilo Turcios (Nunez, 63)
15. Walter Martinez
13. Roger Espinoza (Welcome, 45)
11. David Suazo (Palacios, 83)

SUBS

1. Ricardo Canales (GK)
4. Johnny Palacios
5. Victor Bernardez
6. Hendry Thomas
7. Ramon Nunez
9. Carlos Pavon
10. Jerry Palacios
12. Georgie Welcome
14. Oscar Garcia
16. Mauricio Sabillon
17. Edgar Alvarez
22. Donis Escober (GK)

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