Football

Published: Saturday May 31, 2014 MYT 6:59:00 AM
Updated: Friday June 13, 2014 MYT 6:28:34 PM

Torres shines for Spain in warm-up win against Bolivia

SEVILLE Spain (Reuters) - Spain striker Fernando Torres made a strong case for a World Cup place when he capped an impressive performance with a well-taken penalty as the depleted holders strolled to a 2-0 win over Bolivia on Friday.

In the world and European champions’ penultimate warm-up game before they begin the defence of their title in Brazil next month, Torres made the most of his starting place up front and substitute Andres Iniesta was also on target as Spain ruthlessly dominated the defence-minded South Americans in Seville.

Bolivia, who failed to qualify for the World Cup finals, managed to hold out until halftime before Javi Martinez was bundled over in the penalty area and Torres calmly slotted the spot kick past Romel Quinonez in the 51st minute.

It was the 30–year-old Chelsea forward's 37th goal in 107 appearances for Spain after an indifferent season with his club and he will hope to have done enough to be included in coach Vicente del Bosque's final squad to be announced on Saturday.

Chances were scarce for both sides at Sevilla's Sanchez Pizjuan stadium, with Cesar Azpilicueta striking a long-range effort against the post in the 30th minute and Torres forcing a sharp save from Quinonez shortly before the break.

Iniesta showed his class when he surged forward in the 84th minute and curled a low effort in off a post and Sergio Busquets crashed a long-range drive off the frame of the goal moments later as the home side pressed forward in the final stages.

GOOD FEELINGS

"It's always much better to travel (to a major tournament) with good feelings," Iniesta said in an interview with Spanish television broadcaster Cuatro.

"We worked well and the conclusions from the game are positive," added the Barcelona playmaker.

"The season has been very demanding and we have a lot of matches under our belts but what we have ahead of us is sufficiently exciting and different."

Spain were missing their Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid contingent, who are on holiday following their clash in Saturday's Champions League final and will join up with the rest of the squad on Monday.

Spain, whose final warm-up match is against El Salvador in Washington DC on June 7, have been drawn in Group B at the World Cup finals with Netherlands, Chile and Australia.

Their first game is against the Dutch on June 13, a repeat of the 2010 final which Spain won 1-0 after extra time.

Spain and Bolivia were playing each other for only the second time after they met at the 1994 World Cup in the United States, a 3-1 group-phase victory for the Spanish in Chicago.

(Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Tom Hayward and Ken Ferris)

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