Spain vs. Bolivia: Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction

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Spain vs. Bolivia: Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction
Miguel Angel Morenatti/Associated Press

Spain kicked off their World Cup warm-up plans in earnest on Friday with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Bolivia, providing South American opposition ahead of a group-stage duel with Chile in Brazil next months.

Fernando Torres and Andres Iniesta scored the second-half goals in a match Spain dominated throughout, with a number of chances narrowly missing or hitting the woodwork, while Pepe Reina was entirely untested at the other end. 

With none of the Real or Atletico Madrid players involved following their Champions League exertions, manager Vicente del Bosque opted to field four attackers from the start who had not always enjoyed the best of 2013-14 seasons, challenging them, perhaps, to win their World Cup squad places.

Pedro, Juan Mata and Santi Cazorla all featured in the attacking midfield line, with Torres ahead.

Of the quartet, Pedro enjoyed the best match, starring in the first half with his direct running and ability to beat defenders.

Spain went close early on after Pedro's dribble and cross was deflected to Xavi on the far post, but his first-time volley was blocked by the crowd of defenders on the goal line.

Most of the first-half danger came from the left flank for Spain, with Pedro a constant threat and Alberto Moreno overlapping well down that side too. Pedro could have won a penalty when he beat a sliding tackle in the box, before shortly afterward teeing up Cazorla for a chance, but Bolivia keeper Romel Quinonez only had routine saves from Cazorla and Mata to make in the opening stages.

Cesar Azpilicueta went closest to the opening goal when he struck the post with a low shot from the edge of the area, while Javi Martinez also saw a close-range header parried away by Quinonez.

Shortly into the second half Spain found the breakthrough, from the penalty spot.

Miguel Angel Morenatti/Associated Press

A debatable foul was given for a push in the back of Martinez, with Torres stepping up to roll home the penalty. He should have made it two straight away afterward, only to loft a chance well over the bar with only the keeper to beat.

A rush of changes saw the likes of Iniesta, David Silva and Sergio Busquets come on, with the two former players signalling a change in tempo in attack as they swiftly moved the ball around in the final third.

Pedro had a couple of more chances and Cesc Fabregas, a Torres replacement, also tried his luck, but it was Iniesta who scored the second with a placed effort from 25 yards with a few minutes remaining.

Even later on, Busquets hit the post and Iturraspe headed wide, before time was called on a straightforward victory for the reigning world champions.

Bolivia coach Xabier Azkargorta acknowledged Spain's superiority, though clearly felt the penalty call was decisive.

 

Player Ratings

Spain Player Ratings
Player Grade
Pepe Reina 7
Cesar Azpilicueta 8
Gerard Pique 6
Javi Martinez 6
Alberto Moreno 8
Xavi Hernandez 7
Ander Iturraspe 7
Juan Mata 6
Santi Cazorla 7
Pedro Rodriguez 9
Fernando Torres 7
Subs
Andres Iniesta 8
David Silva 8
Cesc Fabregas 7
Sergio Busquets 7
Raul Albiol 6
Gerard Deulofeu 6

B/R

Bolivia Player Ratings
Player Grade
Romel Quinonez 7
Ronald Raldes 6
Luis Gutierrez 5
Ronald Eguino 5
Marvin Bejarano 5
Danny Bejarano 6
Alejandro Chumacero 5
Gualberto Mojica 6
Alejandro Melean 4
Juan Carlos Arce 4
Marcelo Martins 4

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