Villarreal striker Santi Cazorla scored two first-half goals as reigning World Cup champion Spain routed the US 4-0 on Saturday in an international soccer friendly.
Cazorla found the back of the net in the 28th and 41st minutes, each time while unmarked at the top of the penalty area and scoring off deadly centering passes from Manchester City playmaker David Silva.
Alvaro Negredo took a pass from Xabi Alonzo and raced through a struggling US defense to blast a goal past US goalkeeper Tim Howard in the 32nd minute.
Fernando Torres banked in a shot off the goalpost to his right from the heart of the penalty area in the 73rd minute to give Spain a 4-0 lead. Borja Valero split a defensive seam with a perfect lead pass to the Chelsea striker.
The Spaniards, who boasted six players from Champions League winners Barcelona, improved to 4-1 all-time against the US, who upset Spain 2-0 in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup semi-finals in South Africa in their last meeting.
The US were without star midfielder Landon Donovan, who felt ill, but is expected to play when the US face Canada tomorrow in Detroit, Michigan, for their North American CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament opener.
Mindful of the upcoming tournament, US coach Bob Bradley kept several regulars out of the starting lineup and Spain dominated the attack and tempo from the start.
The Spaniards had an early goal waved off on a questionable offside call and barely missed another when Negredo, who had 20 goals for Sevilla last season, chipped a shot over US captain Howard that went off the crossbar in the 12th minute.
Spain World Cup hero David Villa, a Real Madrid standout, forced a tough save from Everton’s Howard in the 16th minute as well. The Spaniards dominated ball possession with skillful passing and elusive movement away from the ball.
AUSTRALIA VS NZ
Josh Kennedy celebrated his return to Australian colors after an eight-month absence with two goals as the Socceroos beat neighbors New Zealand 3-0 in a friendly at a rain-soaked Adelaide Oval yesterday.
The 28-year-old striker, who missed Australia’s run to the Asian Cup final earlier this year with a back problem, made the most of a mix-up in the 10th minute and slack defending in the 59th to score his eighth and ninth international goals.
Australia midfielder James Troisi later capped a fine performance by rounding off the scoring with a penalty deep into injury-time.
Weakened by injury and jet-lagged after their journey from the US, where they lost 3-0 to Mexico on Wednesday, New Zealand created precious few scoring chances and the profligate Socceroos should have won more convincingly.
Coach Holger Osieck, whose charges beat his native Germany in March, was satisfied with an eighth win in 13 matches since he took over last year, particularly in the absence of Tim Cahill, Harry Kewell and Mark Schwarzer.
“There were a lot of positives and I got what I wanted to see,” he said. “I think overall apart from the score and the overall performance, I think today I found a lot more depth for the future.”
“We created some excellent stuff up front, but we weren’t clinical enough to finish and that is definitely something I dislike,” he added.
Kennedy had a couple of glaring misses, but made no mistake when a miscommunication between All Whites Jeremy Brockie and Glen Ross allowed him to dispossess goalkeeper Ross and fire the ball into an empty net after 10 minutes.