International friendlies - Torres scores as Spain ease past Bolivia

Friendly, Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuan - Spain 2 (Torres 51, Iniesta 84) Bolivia 0

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International friendlies - New York City bound David Villa guides Spain to victory over El Salvador
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Spain's Fernando Torres scores in the World Champions' 2-0 win over Bolivia (Reuters)

Fernando Torres scored from the spot as Spain’s World Cup preparations kicked off with a rather uneventful but morale boosting two goal victory.

Andres Iniesta wrapped up the game six minutes from time with a spectacular finish.

Torres was given the nod ahead of the likes of David Villa and Alvaro Negredo and although it was a quiet evening for the Chelsea man, he stepped up confidently and stroked a cool penalty kick straight down the middle of the net.

With no Atletico Madrid or Real Madrid representatives in the Spain squad due to their involvement in the Champions League final last weekend, a number of players had an opportunity to stake their claim and impress coach Vicente del Bosque, who has still not selected his final 23-man squad.

Pepe Reina started in goal but had a relatively quiet night whilst Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Iturraspe, Alberto Moreno, and Juan Mata were also handed starts but it was Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla who impressed the most in a Spain shirt, the midfielder covering every blade of grass throughout.

The best chance in the first-half fell to Torres’ team mate Cesar Azpilicueta on 31 minutes when he saw his placed shot from the edge of the area bounce off the post.

But the break through didn’t come to the 51st minute when Javi Martinez was dragged down in the box by Luis Gutierrez and Torres stepped up confidently to chip the ball straight down the middle of the net.

Iniesta doubled Spain's lead with a low driven shot into the bottom corner on 84 minutes.

Spain face El Salvador next Saturday before starting their World Cup campaign against Netherlands on June 13.

 KEY MOMENTS

4’ – CHANCE! MATA! Oh so close, the Man Utd star finds himself with time on the edge of the area, he hammers the shot goal bound but it is blocked by a line of Bolivia defenders.

41’ – SAVE! Mata steps up to take a free-kick in almost exactly the same position as an earlier set piece and this time he curls the ball around the wall but Quinonez makes a wonderful fingertip save.

31’ - POST! Azpilicueta! Bolivia fail to clear their lines following a sustained period of pressure from Spain, the ball falls to Azpilicueta who places a shot towards the near post but it smashes off the woodwork and goes out for a goal-kick. That's the nearest we have came to a goal.

50’ - PENALTY TO SPAIN!

51’ - GOAL! Spain 1-0 Bolivia (Torres) A soft penalty as Martinez goes down inside the box under pressure from Gutierrez but Torres coolly strokes home the spot kick with a chipped effort straight down the middle.

54’ - ALMOST! Pedro almost doubles Spain's lead with a powerful effort from 30 yards but Quinonez makes the stop and gathers the ball on the second attempt.

63’ - CHANCE! Silva and Fabregas link up straight away with the Barcelona man almost scoring from his first touch, only a tremendous last ditch tackle from Arce denies him. Spain half heartedly appeal for a penalty but the ref is having none of it.

74’ - SIDE NETTING! Moreno once again gets forward from full back and finds Azpilicueta at the back post but the Chelsea full back can only find the side netting from a tight angle.

84’ - GOAL! Spain 2-0 Bolivia (Iniesta) And finally that is it. Iniesta has doubled Spain's lead with a low driven shot into the bottom corner. As easy as it will get for Spain.

87’ - OFF THE POST! Busquets drills a low shot straight against the post, almost three!

TALKING POINT: Who will be Spain’s star striker? With Diego Costa looking doubtful for the World Cup, Spain coach Vicente del Bosque handed Fernando Torres a place in the starting XI and although it was a rather quiet night for the Chelsea man, he stepped up and stroked his penalty home confidently. But with Alvaro Negredo and David Villa both having superior campaigns for their clubs, can Torres keep his spot? It will be interesting.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Fernando Torres (Spain): There wasn’t really any individual who stood out so Torres probably deserves the man of the match title just for his sheer confidence to step up and take his spot-kick so well.

PLAYER RATINGS

Spain: Reina 6; Azpilicueta 7, Piqué 6, J. Martínez 6, A. Moreno 7; Iturraspe 7, Xav 7i, Cazorla 8, Mata 7, Pedro 8, Fernando Torres 8. Subs: Iniesta 7, Deulofeu 6 , Fabregas 7, Silva 7, Busquets 7.

Bolivia: Quiñonez 7, Raldes 6, Gutiérrez 5, Eguino 5, Marvin 5, Bejarano 6, Melean 5, Mojica 5, Chumacero 5, Arce 6, Martin 6. Subs: Cardozo 5, Miranda 5, Zenteno 5, , Bejarano 5.

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