NEWS
Thursday November 15 2012
Spain thrash Panama

Pedro Rodriguez hit a double and Markel Susaeta scored on his debut as Spain thumped Panama 5-1 in their latest long distance friendly.

Javi Martinez and Raul Albiol made up La Roja's central defence in an experimental starting line-up.

Other fringe players making rare starts at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez - named after a former Tenerife and Valencia striker - were Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes, Atletico Madrid fullback Juanfran and Real Betis regista Benat Extebarria. David Villa wore the captain's armband.

Spain took the lead after 16 minutes play with a trademark passing move, Andres Iniesta and Pedro exchanging some rapid fire short passes before the latter dummied a defender and squeezed a shot into the bottom left corner.

Captain Villa then got his name on the scoresheet just before the half hour but again it was Iniesta who impressed in the build-up, producing some dazzling footwork to trick his way past several defenders on the byline before cutting back for his Barca teammate's tap in.

Panama, coached by former Real Oviedo and Malaga striker Julio Dely Valdes, had their first real effort of substance when Gaby Torres raced down the right and whipped a shot across the face of goal.

Pedro got his second and Spain's third right before half time, running onto Juan Mata's sliderule pass, fooling the 'keeper with a step over and passing into an empty net.

The Tenerife native then departed at half time having scored a remarkable seven goals in his last four international starts.

Roberto Soldado, one of three half time substitutes, set up Villa shortly after the break but the striker's shot was turned wide by Panama 'keeper Jaime Penedo.

It was the first of many impressive saves Penedo made to keep the score down in the second half.

The custodian's resistance was finally broken by another quite exceptional goal, substitute Sergio Ramos surprisingly hitting a free kick, and even more surprisingly curling it beautifully into the top corner.

Athletic Bilbao winger Susaeta had came on in place of Villa and marked his first cap with a goal, tapping in Jesus Navas' low centre.

Panama gave the vociferous home support something to shout about – as if they needed an excuse – with a late consolation. Gabriel Gomez chipped a wonderfully audacious penalty over sub Iker Casillas after Badahona was sandwiched in between Benat and Cesc Fabregas.

Panama 1-5 Spain

Scorers: Pedro 16 (S), Villa 29 (S), Pedro 43 (S), Ramos 81 (S), Susaeta 84 (S), Gomez 87 (P)

Panama: Penedo; Carlos Rodriguez, Baloy, Ganset, Algandona; Cooper, Gomez, Barahona, Esocobar; Gaby Torres, Blas Perez

Spain: Valdes (Casillas 60); Juanfran, Albiol, Javi Martinez, Alba (Ramos 60); Busquets, Benat, Iniesta (Fabregas 45); Mata (Navas 45), Villa (Susaeta 72), Pedro (Soldado 45)
 

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