Spain 5-0 New Zealand
By Peter Scrivener
Fernando Torres’ first-half hat-trick helped Confederations Cup debutants Spain to crush New Zealand 5-0.
The Liverpool striker curled in from the edge of the box, sidefooted a second from six yards and powerfully headed a third inside 20 minutes.
Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas then ended a neat passing move by turning Joan Capdevila’s cross into an empty net.
David Villa tapped in a fifth after the break as Spain recorded a 33rd game without defeat and 13th successive win.
It was the first meeting between the countries at senior level, and one that the All Whites will be keen to forget.
They were given a footballing lesson in the opening 25 minutes as a full-strength Spanish side tore them apart with excellent passing and movement.
Torres was the chief beneficiary, delightfully curling in his first from 20 yards after being left unmarked. He then created his own space in the box to coolly turn in Villa’s accurate centre from the left.
Moments later Torres should have completed his hat-trick, but New Zealand keeper Glen Moss held his weak header.
However, Torres was not to be denied and he outjumped a static defence to clinically nod in Capdevila’s cross from 10 yards.
And on 24 minutes, Spain produced the move of the match to score their fourth.
Villa started the move passing the ball to Torres on the right who cut inside and found Xavi.
The Barcelona midfielder in turn spread the ball to Capdevila on the left wing and he exchanged passes with Liverpool’s Albert Riera before picking out Fabregas, who calmly slotted home.
After the break, Torres turned provider after skipping past two players down the left wing. His low cross should have been cleared by Andy Boyens, but he kicked fresh air instead of the ball to leave Villa with the simplest of tap-ins at the back post.
Capdevila and Villa spared New Zealand further humiliation by firing shots wide, while Fabregas blazed over from close range as Spain continued to create chances.
Simon Elliott went closest for New Zealand, but his low shot from 30 yards was comfortably saved by Iker Casillas.
New Zealand: Moss, Lochhead, Vicelich, Mulligan, Boyens, Elliott, Brown, Bertos, Smeltz, Killen, Brockie.
Subs: Paston, Bannatyne, Scott, Oughton, Sigmund, Barron, Christie, James, Old, Wood, Bright, Smith.
Spain: Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Puyol, Albiol, Capdevila, Xavi, Fabregas, Riera, Alonso, Villa, Torres.
Subs: Reina, Diego Lopez, Pique, Marchena, Pablo, Busquets, Llorente, Guiza, Arbeloa, Santi Cazorla, Silva, Mata.
Referee: Bonaventure Codija (Benin)