FIFA Confederations Cup: Spain 10 Tahiti 0
By Football News
Hat-tricks from Fernando Torres and David Villa helped Spain reach the FIFA Confederations Cup semi-finals with a 10-0 win over Tahiti.
Chelsea striker Torres opened the scoring at the Maracana on Thursday when his weak effort snuck in at the near post after just five minutes, and he added to his tally just after the half-hour mark by rounding the goalkeeper following a David Silva goal.
Villa then got in on the act five minutes before the break, and had his second moments after the restart courtesy of a tap-in from a Nacho Monreal assist.
And the pair grabbed their third goals one after another courtesy of simple finishes.
Juan Mata's late strike preceded the highlight of the match for Tahiti and a Brazil crowd firmly behind the underdogs - Torres' missed penalty - but the 29-year-old eventually got his fourth before Silva completed the rout.
Spain's win sees them into the last four of the tournament, with Nigeria and Uruguay now bidding to join them in qualifying from Group B.
Much had been made of the disparity between the world champions and opponents ranked 138th by FIFA prior to the match, and it did not take long for the gulf in class to be underlined.
Torres found space on the left-hand side of the Tahiti box and picked out the glaring space at Mickael Roche's near post to give Spain the lead.
Vicente del Bosque's men were forced to wait until a third of the match had passed before adding to their tally, but did so twice in quick succession courtesy of Torres and Silva.
The Manchester City playmaker was the first of the pair to strike, collecting Villa's fabulous pass before directing home, and Torres compounded Tahiti's misery by sliding in just two minutes later.
Villa still had time to make it 4-0 prior to the half-time whistle being blown, as Silva returned the favour by providing a glorious assist for his compatriot's 54th goal at international level.
Spain's dominance was perhaps best communicated by the fact that Del Bosque elected to withdraw centre-half Sergio Ramos for winger Jesus Navas during the break, and that reshuffle did not prevent his team from picking up where they left off.
With 49 minutes played, Villa could not possibly miss after being teed up by Monreal just yards from goal, smashing beyond a hapless Roche.
Torres had a similarly simple job of rounding off his hat-trick after Navas' pull-back found him alone in the box, and Villa joined him in racking up a third when he capitalised on a Roche slip to tap in.
Two minutes later, Juan Mata joined in the fun when he made the most of some calamitous Tahitian defending to fire a right-footed shot home after breaking through the back four with ease.
However, a rare moment to saviour for Roche and Tahiti followed, as Torres sparked wild celebrations from the goalkeeper and his many sympathisers among the crowd when he struck a penalty onto the bar.
But the striker atoned for his error not long after, embarrassing Roche with a shift of his body and tapping into an empty net before Silva then finished off the game with a left-footed drive into the bottom corner.
Tahiti were subsequently given a fine reception upon the final whistle, with the Brazilian crowd clearly impressed by their brave efforts.