China ran, but they couldn’t hide from Spain. The Spanish entered the international friendly match expected to dominate, but the Chinese competed admirably. In the end, though, Spain was too much, as a David Silva goal 84 minutes in clinched the win.
Tweets of the Day
Early in the match, a fan—who I’d bet money was for China considering the fact that Spain was heavily favored—tweeted for mercy (via @JimLuc09).
Spain vs China, go easy on us please— Jimmy Luc (@JimLuc09) June 3, 2012
After China not only survived an early deficit to Spain, but competed with them, a fan tweeted (via @ja_gibbons):
It is as if Spain are shocked that China is actually trying to compete. Have shown good ball skill and pace.— Jeremiah Gibbons (@ja_gibbons) June 3, 2012
A Spain fan responded not only enthusiastically, but with great relief to Silva’s game-winning goal
GOOOAAALLL!!! David Silva 84th mins pheewww!! that was close lucky spaniard!!— BrOnT 6 (@Syakir1010) June 3, 2012
Andres Iniesta almost put a dent in the scoreboard after breaking a Chinese player’s ankles.
Grades for Key Spain Players
Iker Casillas: A
Casillas played well and rejected three of China's shots on goal. His back line and defense aided him greatly, as the Chinese only attempted nine shots in the contest.
David Silva: A+
Silva had two shots on goal denied earlier in the match, so his game-winning score had to be a huge relief to the Manchester City midfielder. His last-second heroics will do wonders for the squad, as a loss to China would’ve set the Spaniards back greatly.
Grades for Key China Players
Lei Zong: B+
Zong had a phenomenal performance, recording a whopping seven saves in the match. In the end, though, a loss is a loss, and one goal will put a damper on Zong’s strong outing.
Zheng Zhi: C-
The midfielder led China with four shot attempts including two shots on goal. Despite his opportunities, Zhi couldn’t cash in and, in the end, it cost the Chinese a chance to pull off the upset.
Deciding Factor: Time of Possession
Again, props to Zong for surviving the Spanish onslaught for the vast majority of the match. Spain controlled the football for 78 percent of the contest, and with their 24 shot attempts compared to China’s nine, though, they should’ve won by a larger margin.
Man of the Match: David Silva
Who else? While the Spanish defense along with Casillas deserve a ton of credit, Silva is biggest reason why the entire nation of Spain isn’t in shock right now.
Spain will face off against Italy on Sunday, June 10 at 4:00 p.m. ET, while China will take on Vietnam on Friday, June 8 at a time to be determined.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.