Spain prepare for WC with Bolivia win

Fernando Torres and Andres Iniesta gave Spain a 2-0 win over Bolivia in their first World Cup warm-up game.

Torres scored from the spot in the second-half to put Spain in front and the lead was never really threatened.

Iniesta added a second with six minutes to go, running from midfield and curling into the back of the net from range with a delightful effort.

Bolivia made life difficult for Spain but as they tired, the world champions threatened to run riot.

There were no Atletico Madrid or Real Madrid players in the Spain XI after their Champions League exertions.

La Roja lined up in more of a 4-3-3 formation than they have usually deployed, captain Xavi Hernandez and debutant Ander Iturraspe joined in midfield by Santi Cazorla.

Pedro and Juan Mata took the left and right flanks respectively while Torres led the line through the middle.

Gerard Pique and Javi Martinez formed the centre-back partnership with Cesar Azpilicueta at right-back and hometown boy Alberto Moreno on the left. Pepe Reina took the gloves.

Spain went close to an early goal after Pedro’s cross from the byline was spilled by goalkeeper Romel Quinonez and Xavi followed up, only to see his volley blocked.

Reina also had to be alert to snuff out a Bolivia attack, a rare foray into home territory for the South Americans.

Xavi also went close with a free-kick that had the goalkeeper worried amid a lively opening period.

Torres later dragged a shot wide as Spain looked to turn possession into chances.

The game was more robust that might be expected from an end-of-season friendly, both sides sliding in for challenges as if more was at stake.

Azpilicueta had the next chance after some patient build-up play on the edge of the Bolivia penalty area, the defender hitting the post from the edge of the box.

Cazorla and Pedro combined nicely to put the Barca man in a promising position but a corner was the only reward – and it was easily dealt with too.

Pedro managed to get a shot away shortly after but his long-range effort was tame and easily held.

Mata saw a free-kick go over the crossbar via a hand from Quinonez as half-time approached and the resulting corner caused havoc in the Bolivia box thanks to Martinez’s header.

The second-half was barely more than five minutes old when Martinez was fouled in the Bolivia area and a penalty was awarded.

Torres stepped up and chipped home from 12 yards to give Spain the lead.

The Chelsea striker had another fair chance shortly before going off while Spain regularly looked dangerous going forward without troubling Bolivia too greatly.

After an hour Del Bosque withdrew Torres and sent on Cesc Fabregas, reverting to the false nine formation with Sergio Busquets joining Iturraspe in the more usual 4-2-3-1 shape.

David Silva, another second-half substitute, had an effort saved as Spain looked to double the lead.

Azpilicueta got on the end of a wonderful sweeping move, the ball going from one side to the other before a deep cross found the on-rushing right-back, but his side-foot effort found the side of the net, rather than the back.

The full-backs were constant outlets and, with Iturraspe, some of Spain’s most impressive performers.

Pedro was another to get a chance to make it 2-0 but he was crowded out by Quinonez after latching on to a through ball.

It was pretty much the Barca winger’s last involvement as he was replaced by another Barca winger – Gerard Deulofeu, on for his debut.

Iniesta, at the other end of the experience spectrum to Deulofeu, made it two late on with a beautiful goal, leaving Quinonez with no chance as the ball swerved into the net.

A third nearly followed as Spain exerted their superiority, Busquets striking the woodwork with his own attempt from distance.

But two was all Spain claimed as Del Bosque's side got their attempt to retain the World Cup off to an encouraging start.

Spain 2-0 Bolivia

Torres 50, Iniesta 84

Spain: Reina; Azpilicueta, Pique (Albiol 46), Javi Martinez, Moreno; Iturraspe, Xavi (Busquets 61). Cazorla (Silva 61); Mata (Iniesta), Pedro (Deulofeu 79), Torres (Fabregas 61)

Bolivia: Quinonez; Diego Bejarano, Equino, Raldes, Gutierrez, Marvin Bejarano; Melean (Miranda 63), Mojica (Cardozo 63); Chumacero (Bejarano 63), Arce (Arze 72); Moreno (Pena 81)

Tags Andres Iniesta Bolivia Fernando Torres Spain World Cup 2014
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