The former Atletico Madrid striker, who came on at the start of the second-half, was on hand to pass Spain’s opener into the back of the net after Sergio Ramos climbed above Derby Carillo in the El Salvador’s goal on the hour mark before rounding off the contest with a cool finish under pressure two minutes before time.
Despite the low score-line, Spain coach Vicente del Bosque will be pleased with how his side performed and will be particularly encouraged by the fitness of star striker Diego Costa who played for over 70 minutes on the night.
Spain could have been in front as early as the third minute but Cesc Fabregas blazed a penalty over the bar.
2' - PENALTY TO SPAIN! Costa is fouled in the box and Spain have a penalty!
3’ - FABREGAS MISSES! He blazes the ball over the bar. Not a good start for the Barcelona man and perhaps justice was served, it seemed a fairly harsh decision to award the penalty in the first place. Fabregas hesitated as he stepped up to take the spot-kick and in the end it was an awful attempt.
5’ - CHANCE! Pedro is played through with a defence splitting pass, the midfielder does everything right, takes the ball down with a delightful touch but cannot find a way past Derby in El Salvador's goal. Very bright start for Spain.
27’ - CHANCE! Costa almost capped his return with a goal but a terrific, last ditch tackle from Garcia stops the Spain forward in his tracks.
35’ - FABREGAS! The Chelsea target heads wide of the goal with the goal at his mercy following a delightful chipped pass from Iniesta. Still no breakthrough for Spain.
37’ – JUST WIDE! Spain win a free-kick from around 25 yards out from goal, Ramos steps up and takes the set-piece, which bends around the wall but is slightly wide of the right-hand post.
60’ – GOAL! 1-0 SPAIN! Villa scores a simple tap-in after a deep cross is played towards the back post, Ramos towers above the onrushing Derby and wins the header to leave Villa with a simple finish.
61’ - GOOD SAVE! Villa almost scores his second in as many minutes, Cazorla tees off the Atletico forward in the penalty area but his shot is straight down the throat of Derby who makes a good stop.
67’ - SO CLOSE! Spain come close to grabbing their second after a delightful long ball picks out Alonso at the back post, he picks out Villa whose header is parried by the goalkeeper, the rebound falls to Costa who skies the ball over the bar from a tight angle.
77’ - BLOCKED! Somehow it is still only 1-0 to Spain as a crowd of El Salvador defenders on the line somehow block Xavi's close range shot.
79’ - CROSSBAR! Busquet's sees his thunderous effort crash off the crossbar 25 yards from goal. Still, still 1-0.
88’ - GOAL! 2-0 SPAIN! And it's Villa once again! Silva played a wonderful ball to Villa, he takes the ball down wonderfully under pressure from the defender and he slots the ball beyond the reach of the goalkeeper.
Vicente del Bosque has only lost one of 26 World Cup games as Spain coach, including qualifiers (W23 D2).
TALKING POINT: Diego Costa looks fit and ready to go: The Atletico Madrid star has been hampered with a hamstring injury over recent weeks, placing a major question mark over whether or not he would make the World Cup but he played a solid 70 plus minutes for Spain tonight and won an early penalty for his side. Although not at his best, his contribution will certainly be a major positive for Spain who are hopeful of retaining their trophy.
MAN OF THE MATCH
David Villa (Spain) – The New York City bound striker impressed on his first performance on a USA ground, showing a real prowess in front of goal to guide Spain to victory. His first goal was a real tap in but he showed his class with his second, controlling the ball under pressure from the El Salvador defence and sliding the ball beyond the reach of the goalkeeper. His coach Vicente del Bosque will have been impressed and it’ll be interesting how much Villa features in the finals after this showing.
El Salvador: Carillo 5, García 5, Mendoza 5, Barríos 6, Larín 5, Álvarez 6, D. Cerén 5, Menjívar 5,Flores 5, Santamaría 5, Burgos 5. Subs: Molina, 5, Alas 5, Renderos 5, Aguila 5, Blanco 5.
Spain: Casillas 6; Juanfran 7, Ramos 7, Martinez 6, Alba 7; Alonso 7, Koke 6, Iniesta 7, Pedro 7, Fàbregas 7; Diego Costa 7. Subs: De Gea 6, Villa 8, Xavi 6, Busquets 7, Cazorla 6, Silva 7.
- Sports & Recreation
- David Villa
- El Salvador
- Sergio Ramos
- Vicente del Bosque
- Diego Costa
- Cesc Fabregas
- Atletico Madrid