Confederations Cup: Fernando Torres scores four as Spain rout Tahiti 10-0
Rio de Janeiro: Spain were in complete control at the Maracana, demolishing Tahiti 10-0 on Thursday to edge towards a spot in the Confederations Cup semi-finals.
With the world`s top ranked team facing off against a side 137 places lower, pre-match predictions heralded a double digit scoreline and la Roja did not disappoint, with Fernando Torres scoring four times, and David Villa adding a hat-trick of his own.
The Chelsea striker struck either side of a David Silva effort, before Villa added Spain`s fourth just before the break to give Spain a 4-0 half-time lead.
Spain`s record goalscorer would add his 55th and 56th international goals in the second half, alongside a Juan Mata piledriver and another pair of efforts from Torres, who also missed a penalty, before Silva added the 10th goal a minute from time.
Vicente del Bosque put out a completely different team to the one that beat Uruguay 2-1 on Sunday, as Javi Martinez, Santi Cazorla and Mata were all handed starts after appearing as substitutes at the Itaipava Arena Pernambuco.
It did not take Spain long to get the ball rolling, but Tahiti keeper Mikael Roche will no doubt be disappointed at the ease with which he let Torres’ shot slip past his grasp at the near post.
Torres had a chance to make it 2-0 five minutes later, but he opted, and failed, to lob the keeper, when Villa was in acres of space waiting for the tap in.
Certainly, the vast majority of the fans inside the Maracana were behind the minnows from French Polynesia, with every incursion past the halfway line greeted with a deafening roar.
But such forays were few and far between, as Spain continued to dominate proceedings despite rarely playing above a leisurely pace.
The stadium was brought to their feet once again after a barnstorming run from Steevy Chong Hue was halted by a cynical Raul Albiol challenge, but Marama Vahirua could not get the free kick past the wall.
Jonathan Tehau blocked on the line from Juan Mata, and Roche was again able to tip away from Cazorla as the second Spain goal loomed large and duly arrived on the half-hour mark when Villa slipped in Silva behind the full-back for an easy finish.
And moments later, Torres made it 3-0 after breaking the offside trap, rounding Roche and prodding home.
Villa nearly added a fourth 38 minutes in when he blasted into the side netting at the far post, but the Barca striker would make no mistake seconds later, sliding into an empty net after Spain overloaded on a five on one break.
With a double-digit scoreline in sight, Spain did not let up. Villa was at it again four minutes after the restart, arriving first ahead of a queue of Spain players to bundle in Nacho Monreal’s cross.
Torres completed his hat-trick in the 57th minute when he converted from close range thanks to a square pass from Jesus Navas, who set up a similar chance moments later for Silva, who missed badly.
Villa would join in on the treble fun just past the hour, taking advantage of a missed interception by Roche to finish into an empty net to make it 7-0.
Spain’s players seemed to be almost queuing up to score and Mata quickly added their eighth goal after bundling his way past the defence and drilling into the bottom corner.
But Roche, so often left stranded for the majority of Spain’s goals, made two smart saves in quick succession to save from Villa’s free kick, and a long-range effort by Cazorla.
With 12 minutes remaining, Ricky Aitamai conceded a penalty after handling Navas’ cross, but Torres smacked the spot-kick off the crossbar, to an enormous eruption of delight from the crowd.
However, Torres would silence the fans somewhat seconds later, latching onto Raul Albiol’s pass and sprinting in behind the defence with ease to finish.
At this point, the only question remaining was whether Spain would reach double figures and Silva would achieve the symbolic feat in the 89th minute, turning and firing home from eight yards to round off a rout for the ages.