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

Karl Matchett@@karlmatchettFeatured ColumnistMay 30, 2014

Spain's Fernando Torres, right, celebrate with teammates after scoring against Bolivia during their friendly soccer match in Seville, on Friday, May 30. 2014. (AP Photo/Miguel Angel Morenatti)
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.

Del Bosque picking @Torres @juanmata8 @19SCazorla @_Pedro17_ is a clear signal telling them to fight for world cup place or face axe #Spain

— Said Hamid (@SaidHamid14) May 30, 2014

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.

Official: Deulofeu, aged 20, makes his debut for Spain, being subbed in the 80th minute in the friendly against Bolivia #fcblive

— barcastuff (@barcastuff) May 30, 2014

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.

Oh it's just me, Andres Iniesta, side-footing the ball in from 25-yards out... https://t.co/upM5LdPYNE

— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 30, 2014

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.

Bolivia coach Azkargorta pretty happy with his team's performance - "has his doubts" over penalty, admits Spain more comfy afterwards.

— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) May 30, 2014

 

Player Ratings

Spain Player Ratings
PlayerGrade
Pepe Reina7
Cesar Azpilicueta8
Gerard Pique6
Javi Martinez6
Alberto Moreno8
Xavi Hernandez7
Ander Iturraspe7
Juan Mata6
Santi Cazorla7
Pedro Rodriguez9
Fernando Torres7
Subs
Andres Iniesta8
David Silva8
Cesc Fabregas7
Sergio Busquets7
Raul Albiol6
Gerard Deulofeu6
B/R
Bolivia Player Ratings
PlayerGrade
Romel Quinonez7
Ronald Raldes6
Luis Gutierrez5
Ronald Eguino5
Marvin Bejarano5
Danny Bejarano6
Alejandro Chumacero5
Gualberto Mojica6
Alejandro Melean4
Juan Carlos Arce4
Marcelo Martins4
B/R