Spain had no trouble taking out Haiti, 2-1, in a friendly on Saturday afternoon in Miami.
The reigning world and European champions have often traveled around the world when the club season is over, and this summer is no different. Although the level of competition wasn't very strong and the match provided little drama, this still offered American fans an opportunity to see Spain in person.
If the match was noteworthy for anything, it would be the return of Iker Casillas to a pitch of any kind, whether for Spain or Real Madrid, per Realmadridplace:
it's been 135 days since Casillas last played a match, tonight he could play for Spain vs. Haiti. [marca]— SB (@Realmadridplace) June 8, 2013
After Sergio Ramos (quite comically) tweeted out his support of the Miami Heat, Dwyane Wade decided to return the favor, per beIN Sport's Kay Murray:
Dwayne Wade is here to watch Spain v Haiti. #heatnation— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 8, 2013
The Spanish fans didn't have to wait long for some action. In the eighth minute, Santi Cazorla received the ball at the top of the 18-yard box. He unleashed a low left-footed shot that went past a diving Frandy Montrevil and into the bottom right corner of the net.
OptaJose had an interesting stat about the midfielder:
9 - Santi Cazorla has scored vs Haiti his 9th goal for Spain, eight of them scored in friendly matches. Pass— OptaJose (@OptaJose) June 8, 2013
Eleven minutes later, Cesc Fabregas nabbed himself a goal with a well-struck header that floated into the top of the goal. It was a very good goal as Fabregas easily could have put it right in the center of goal at Montrevil, but instead he placed it well.
The first half ended with Spain up, 2-0. Considering the gulf in quality, it was probably much lower than it could have been. Spain were incisive at times, but it was clear they were playing with their foot off the gas a little bit.
You can't blame them for not wanting to embarrass Haiti. There's nothing on the line, and everyone knows how good Spain are.
Haiti were able to get forward at times. Unfortunately for them, they simply offered nothing substantive in the final third.
Haiti did find a goal in the 75th minute. Wilde-Donald Guerrier weaved his way through the Spanish defense and slid it across the goal line. It was pretty bad defending from Spain, as they pretty much let Guerrier bear down on goal untouched. The finish was very good, though, as he was almost parallel and to the left of goal and took the hard way, slicing it in with his left.
Haiti's own Wyclef Jean enjoyed Guerrier's goal:
The match finished 2-1. Credit Haiti for ending the game strong. For the last 10 or 15 minutes, they actually looked to be getting the better of Spain.
Cesc Fabregas, Spain: B+
It was a very good performance from Cesc Fabregas. He helped pull the strings in midfield and deserved a goal.
Fabregas' header was a thing of beauty despite the lack of pace on the pass from Juan Mata. He was still able to get some power behind the ball and place it wonderfully.
Juan Mata, Spain: A
Juan Mata assisted on both Santi Cazorla and Cesc Fabregas' goals. He didn't have a lot to do. When he did have the ball at his feet, Mata always had his eyes forward, looking for a killer ball.
Leave it to OptaJose to come up with another great stat:
1 - Juan Mata has managed against Haiti two assists in a single game for first time with the Spanish national team. Samba— OptaJose (@OptaJose) June 8, 2013
No matter the setting, it's always a joy to watch Mata when he has the ball at his feet. This match was no different.
Wilde-Donald Guerrier, Haiti: B+
The Spain defense looked more like bullfighters in the way they avoided an onrushing Guerrier for the goal. Don't let that take away from the actual goal itself.
Guerrier's finish was very good under any circumstances. The fact that he's a defender makes the goal all the better.
|Iker Casillas (off 46') ||C+
|Raul Albiol ||C+
|Cesar Azpilicueta ||C
|Sergio Ramos (off 46') ||B-|
|Nacho Monreal ||C
|Javi Martinez ||B
|Cesc Fabregas (off 59') ||B+|
|Santi Cazorla ||B+
|Jesus Navas (off 46') ||B-
|Juan Mata (off 73') ||A
Fernando Torres (off 59') ||C+
|Pepe Reina ||C
|Gerard Pique ||C+
|David Silva ||C+
|Jean Sony Alcenat ||C
|Judelin Aveska ||C
|Peterson Joseph (off 58') ||C-
|Wilde-Donald Guerrier ||B+
|Jeff Louis (off 68')||C
|Jean Monuma Constant||C
|Yves Desmarets (off 84')||C+
|Charles Herold (off 90')||C
|Kevin Fils Belfort (off 54')||C+
|Leonel Saint-Preux ||C-
|Mechack Jerome ||C+
|Jean-Eudes Maurice ||C
|Jean Philippe Peguero||INC|
Spain have a friendly against Ireland on June 11 and begin play in the Confederations Cup on June 16 against Uruguay.
The fixture list doesn't get much easier for Haiti. They meet Italy on June 11.