As expected, Spain manhandled Tahiti in their 2013 Confederations Cup match en route to winning 10-0.
Vicente del Bosque made quite a few changes to the lineup that faced Uruguay earlier in the week. For some countries, that would mean a big drop-off in terms of quality. With Spain, they still had enough talent on the pitch to beat just about any other country in the world.
It took all of five minutes for Spain to get on the board after Fernando Torres slid it home in the near post. Torres received a pass from Juan Mata on the left and ran at the goal. He was uncontested as he managed to beat the goalkeeper at the near post.
OptaJose had an interesting stat from the tournament so far:
Tahiti came into this match with little fear. They simply didn't sit back and let Spain run at them for 90 minutes. Instead, Tahiti tried to hit back on the counter and managed to offer a bit of a threat at times.
Unfortunately for them, the floodgates opened up in the 31st minute. David Silva scored, with Torres and David Villa finding the back of the net all within a span of eight minutes.
The Silva goal was so impressive because of the pass from Villa and the fact that Silva had a somewhat difficult finish.
It was simply too easy for Spain as they could have almost scored at will. Everything was going their way, and they probably haven't had an easier time in a match.
La Roja went into halftime with a 4-0 lead. It probably could have been a little more, but Spain really didn't hit their stride until Silva's goal. EPL Talk's Kartik Krishnaiyer was one fan not blown away by the first-half performance.
Some of the talk before the match focused on when del Bosque would call off the dogs and tell his team to just sit back. Roger Bennett of Men in Blazers had a different idea in mind.
The second half went exactly as you would have expected.
In the 49th minute, Nacho Monreal made a nice run down the left flank. He received the ball and delivered in a nice low cross to Villa. The striker only needed to tap it in for Spain's fifth goal.
After the goal, Men in Blazers found a way for the Tahitian supporters to get one up on Spain.
Torres got his hat-trick in the 57th minute. Jesus Navas made a run down the right flank and cut inside. He was unchallenged, and when Mikal Roche had to decide whether to look for the shot, Navas found Torres, who had an empty net with which he could finish.
Not to be outdone, Villa secured a hat-trick in the 64th minute. He received a ball in over the top, which Roche failed to smother. It eluded the goalkeeper, leaving Villa with a tap-in for the goal.
Juan Mata added a goal in the 66th minute to run the score to 8-0.
As the second half went on, Spain took their foot off the gas. It was clear Tahiti didn't have the energy to keep up with the Spanish attack, and their lack of pressing gave La Roja ample time to sit on the ball.
Torres later scored in the 78th minute. He got in behind the back four and was one-on-one with the keeper. Torres rounded Roche and tapped it in to make it 9-0 Spain.
Silva recorded his second in the 88th minute, giving Spain a 10-0 lead, which is how the match finished. It's the biggest win in the history of a FIFA senior tournament.
Fernando Torres, Spain: A-
It has probably never been any easier for Fernando Torres. He probably could have scored six goals without breaking a sweat. For a guy who has struggled with confidence at times, it's probably good for Torres to have a performance like this. He can get back in the groove now.
Although, he has a record of taking advantage of much weaker sides. ESPN's Paul Carr pointed out the teams Torres has scored two goals or more against in a Spain shirt:
Is there any way Tahiti can earn a spot in the Premier League?
David Villa, Spain: A
It was nice finishing from David Villa, but he really didn't have much to do in the match. He's a world-class finisher, so he doesn't need much help to find the back of the net.
Credit Villa for consistently getting into position to put chances away. That's a skill all by itself, and Villa made sure to time his runs well and get himself in attacking positions.
His pass for David Silva's first goal was a thing of beauty, as well.
David Silva, Spain: A-
You could almost see David Silva in emotional pain when he scored his second goal. He didn't really want to make the scoreline even bigger, but you couldn't have expected him to do any more. He had a chance, and it would have almost been insulting to not take it.
|Pepe Reina ||B-|
|Cesar Azpilicueta ||B-|
|Raul Albiol ||B|
|Sergio Ramos (off '46) ||C|
|Nacho Monreal ||C+|
|Santi Cazorla (off '76) ||B-|
|Javi Martinez ||C+|
|David Silva ||A-|
|Juan Mata (off '69) ||B|
|David Villa ||A|
|Fernando Torres ||A-|
|Jesus Navas ||B |
|Cesc Fabregas ||C|
|Andres Iniesta ||C|
|Mikal Roche ||D|
|Edson Lemaire (off '74) ||D|
|Heimano Bourebare (off '69) ||D|
|Steevy Chong Hue||C-|
|Alvin Tehau (off '53) ||C-|
The win means Spain are automatically through to the knockout stage. Going up against Nigeria, del Bosque can choose to go with a strong side, or he can continue to rest his key players. The only thing up for grabs will be whether Spain finish top in the group.
Tahiti are not eliminated yet, but they will be if Nigeria wins or draws against Uruguay. There's virtually no chance Tahiti will advance. They will likely finish bottom of the group after their match against Uruguay.