World Cup - Villa ends Spain career with 59th goal in Aussie cruise

World Cup Group B, Curitiba - Australia 0 Spain 3 (Villa 36, Torres 69, Mata 82)

Asian Football - Spain's Villa set for A-League debut

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David Villa (Spain)

There were plenty of changes by Vicente del Bosque after their earlier embarrassments, and Fernando Torres, David Villa, Koke and Juanfran were among those who came into the side and put in decent showings.

Villa was able to sign off his international career in style after he stuck a dagger into Australia's hearts after the Socceroos' fine start. Collecting the cutback from Juanfran, the departing legendary striker produced an elegant backheel to put the ball beyond Mathew Ryan and open the floodgates for his side. It was his 59th international goal in his 97th and final cap.

Australia continued to battle, but waned as the game went on and Andres Iniesta was again given too much space to create the decisive second goal, finding Fernando Torres in acres of space, with the Chelsea forward just about managing to clip it past Ryan.

Villa's withdrawal for Juan Mata sparked emotional scenes as Spain's all-time top scorer was reduced to tears. Mata put in a decent showing himself, grabbing the third with a smart finish through the legs of Ryan after escaping down the right channel.

Australia tried for a last hurrah, but couldn't find a goal, with Spain the only side to keep them from scoring in the tournament. For Spain, a long, hard rebuilding job now begins.

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Pre-match - NEW FACES FOR SPAIN - Vicente del Bosque opts to bring in Atletico pair Koke and Juanfran, while Santi Cazorla also makes an appearance.

36' VILLA GOAL - David Villa rounds off an illustrious international career with a cheeky backheel from Juanfran's centre to put Spain into a deserved lead.

69' TORRES GOAL - Fernando Torres gets in on the action by clipping the ball beyong Mathew Ryan after an excellent pass from Andres Iniesta to put it on a plate.

83' MATA GOAL - Juan Mata joins the party and stakes his claim to be part of the new Spain look as he produces a smart finish to nutmeg Ryan.



Australia have only won one of their eight World Cup games against European opposition (2-1 v Serbia in 2010), losing six (D1).

Spain scored three goals from just four shots on target against Australia.

David Villa is Spain’s top scorer at the World Cup with nine goals in 12 games, four more than any other Spanish player. Indeed, Villa has scored in each of the last three World Cup finals.

Australia have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last 10 World Cup matches.

No player has provided more assists for Spain at the World Cup (since 1966) than Cesc Fabregas (3).

Australia’s Matthew Spiranovic completed all 38 of his passes against Spain.

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Australia have conceded two or more goals in six of their eight World Cup matches against European opposition.

Australia failed to register a shot on target in a World Cup match for only the second time in their history. They last failed to hit the target back in 1974 against East Germany.

Fernando Torres scored with his first shot on target of the World Cup; having played 123 minutes.

It’s the first time in 12 World Cup matches that Spain have scored three goals in a game.


How will the new Spain look?: Xavi and Casillas look to be goners after this tournament, but Andres Iniesta still looks like Spain's most dangerous player. Whether they will be able to fit him and the likes of Juan Mata and David Silva together will be interesting. Xavi's direct replacement is most likely to be Koke, but although he undoubtedly has a great talent, he will need to step up to fill the legend's boots.


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David Villa (Spain): An emotional farewell for the legendary striker, who was in tears after leaving the pitch, and a good way to bow out. As well as an excellently-taken goal, Villa was a constant threat for his side as he caused the Australia defence problems all game.


Spain: Reina 6, Juanfran 7, Albiol 6, Ramos 6, Alba 7, Koke 7, Alonso 6, Villa 8, Iniesta 8, Cazorla 6, Torres 6. Subs: Mata 7, Fabregas 6, Silva 6.

Australia: Ryan 5, Davidson 5, Wilkinson 6, Spiranovic 5, McGowan 6, Bozanic 5, Jedinak 6, McKay 6, Leckie 6, Taggart 5, Oar 5. Subs: Bresciano 6, Halloran 4, Troisi 6.


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