Spain outclass New Zealand at Confederations CupJune 15th, 2009 - 4:47 am ICT by IANS
Rustenburg (South Africa), June 15 (DPA) A hat-trick from Fernando Torres in the opening 16 minutes set Spain on the way to a 5-0 demolition of New Zealand in their opening game of the Confederations Cup Sunday.
The European champions showed exactly why they are the top-ranked team in the world at the moment by clinically dismantling the representatives of Oceania in a completely one-sided Group A encounter at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg.
The match made up for the earlier disappointing tournament curtain-raiser between hosts South Africa and Iraq, which ended scoreless, as Torres opened the scoring after just four minutes, curling in a shot from the edge of the area after being set up by
The Liverpool striker doubled Spain’s lead on 14 minutes, sidefooting home from seven metres after some fine build-up play from club team-mate Albert Riera and David Villa, and completed his hat-trick three minutes later, heading a Joan Capdevila cross into the
Riera could have further increased Spain’s lead with a well struck shot from outside the area but New Zealand goalkeeper Glen Moss saved well.
However, the reprieve was only temporary as Capdevila was once again the provider on 24 minutes when the left-back found Fabregas on the edge of the six-metre box for the Arsenal midfielder to make it 4-0.
The closest the All Whites came to scoring in a lopsided first period was a shot from Jeremy Brockie that sailed a couple of metres wide of the right-hand post.
Spain needed just three minutes after the restart to make it 5-0 - the same score New Zealand lost to France in their last Confederations Cup match back in 2003 - when Andy Boyens failed to clear an innocuous Torres cross, allowing Villa to score with a low
Capdevila should have made it six for Vicente del Bosque’s side on 57 minutes but fired wide from just beyond the penalty spot, while Villa also went close two minutes later.
Iker Casillas was forced to make a save from Simon Elliot in New Zealand’s only threatening moment of the second half as Spain ran out comfortable winners.
Spain next face Iraq in Bloemfontein Wednesday while New Zealand take on South Africa in Rustenburg on the same day.
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Tags: albert riera, brockie, cesc fabregas, confederations cup, curtain raiser, european champions, fernando torres, first period, four minutes, goalkeeper, hat trick, joan capdevila, ranked team, reprieve, royal bafokeng stadium, rustenburg south africa, striker, team mate, three minutes, vicente del bosque