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30 May 2012
• STADE DE SUISSE Wankdorf Bern, Bern
Referee: A. Bieri
• Attendance: 10220
Fernando Torres 11'
Xabi Alonso 53'
Do-Heon Kim 43'
FULL-TIME: SPAIN 4-1 SOUTH KOREA. Vicente Del Bosque's side run out comfortable winners in Bern courtesy of a first-half header from Fernando Torres, a Xabi Alonso penalty, a clever free-kick from Santi Cazorla, and a composed finish late on from the substitute Alvaro Negredo. Despite that, the goal of the game was undoubtedly South Korea's, as their midfielder Do-Heon Kim smashed an effort into the top corner from distance at the end of the first half. Spain deserved the victory after dominating for large periods of the game, and they will look to take the momentum from this match into their friendly against China on Sunday. Thanks for joining me for Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the match tonight. Goodbye!
The referee decides against any added time, and blows the final whistle on 90 minutes.
The european champions have made a number of changes in this second half but their level of play has remained constant throughout. They have looked really good this evening, and deserve their 4-1 lead heading in to the final minutes of the game.
South Korea win a corner on the left after Alvaro Dominguez heads a cross from the right over his own crossbar under pressure from Dong-Gook. It amounts to nothing though, and is easily caught by Casillas.
DECENT STRIKE FROM DONG-GOOK! The former Middlesbrough striker lashes a firm effort at goal but Iker Casillas, who replaced Reina a few minutes ago, is equal to it, patting the ball down before kicking it back up-field.
The South Korea goalkeeper Jin-Hyeon has made some decent saves tonight, but he's also looked slightly dangerous when he comes racing off his line. He's just wiped out one of his own defenders and Roberto Soldado while coming out to claim the ball. Soldado is off the pitch receiving treatment as a result.
Assist Roberto Soldado
GOALL!!! 4-1 TO SPAIN!! NEGREDO THE SCORER!! The Sevilla striker extends their lead with a well-taken finish after latching on to a fine defence-splitting pass from the man he was chosen in the final squad of 23 ahead of, Roberto Soldado.
Spain are bombarding the South Korea defence, and look like they might score more here tonight.
That's a dangerous challenge from the South Korea substitute Kim on David Silva there, and he is perhaps lucky to escape a booking! He's gone in two-footed and late on the Manchester City schemer, and clearly caught him.
I've been really impressed by Benat tonight. He's been linked with a move away from his current club Real Betis in recent weeks, and I can certainly see why. He's looked comfortable in both Spain's games over the past week, and may feel slightly aggrieved not to have made Del Bosque's final squad of 23.
MORE ACROBATICS FROM JIN-HYEON!! A looping Negredo header looks to be creeping under the crossbar but Jin-Hyeon manages to scramble across his goal and tip the ball over the bar.
SAVE FROM JIN-HYEON!!! The South Korea goalkeeper is some way off his line, and it invites the chip from Negredo. He is more than a match to the effort from the Sevilla striker though, and punches the ball away.
CHANCE FOR SOUTH KOREA!! Ja-Cheol Koo goes on a fantastic run right at the heart of the Spain defence, and he manages to break through into the penalty area before firing an effort onto the post. Reina was beaten there!
They've been on the wrong end of some fairly unfortunate refereeing decisions tonight, but this South Korea side are still full of running and purpose. They are pressing Spain at every opportunity despite the scoreline.
Despite winning in Switzerland tonight, Spain have had less success against the Switzerland team, with their last loss in competitive international football coming against the Swiss, in their opening match of the 2010 World Cup.
NEARLY A FOURTH FOR SPAIN!!! David Silva embarks on a mazy dribble past three South Korea defenders before smashing a left foot effort towards Jin-Hyeon's near post, that the keeper does well to parry away. It falls straight to the feet of the substitute Negredo though, but his first time effort is off target and goes wide of the right-hand post.
Del Bosque has chosen to make some changes following his side's third goal, with Alvaro Negredo, Adrian Lopez, Roberto Soldado and Alvaro Dominguez replacing Torres, Mata, Cazorla and Ramos.
That was an astonishing few minutes in Bern, as South Korea conceded twice in the space of five minutes after being penalised twice for handball. The first resulted in a penalty that Alonso scored, and the second a free-kick, that Cazorla cleverly dispatched into the back of the net.
Goal Santi Cazorla
GOALLL!!! 3-1 TO SPAIN!! Santi Cazorla shows great initiative to drive the ball low under the South Korea wall as they jump to block his free-kick, and can only watch as it flies into the back off the net and increases Spain's lead.
Players from both sides are surrounding the referee following his decision to award the free-kick to Spain.
THIS IS INCREDIBLE!! Just seconds after the referee gives Spain a penalty for a South Korea handball, Spain now have a free-kick for handball right on the edge of the penalty area!
Penalty Goal Xabi Alonso
XABI ALONSO SCORES!! 2-1 to Spain. The referee awarded a spot-kick for a handball that blocked Monreal's goalbound shot, and Alonso showed his ability from 12 yards by blasting the ball home low to Jin-Hyeon Kim's right. Yong-Hyung Cho was the player that blocked Monreal's shot with his arms there, and in doing so gave away the penalty.
Yellow Card Yong-Hyung Cho
THAT'S GOT TO HURT!! Benat is hacked to the turf and Spain have a free-kick on the right. Silva lofts it in to the box but there is not enough pace on the cross and it is easily dealt with by South Korea's defence.
South Korea have a corner on the left that Nam curls in with his right foot, but Sergio Ramos is waiting in front of Reina to head the ball away and set his team off on an attack.
This is certainly the most mobile I've seen Fernando Torres in some time. There have been glimpses of class tonight, none more obvious than his well-taken header that gave Spain the lead early on.
Benat, who has impressed in the middle for Spain tonight, gets a shot away from 25 yards, but it is always drifting away from goal, and is no trouble for the South Korea goalkeeper.
We are back underway for the second half here in Bern...
HALF-TIME: SPAIN 1-1 SOUTH KOREA. It has been an entertaining first half here in Bern, as both sides have created chances, and scoring one each so far. Fernando Torres gave the world champions the lead with a confident header before Do-Heon Kim equalised for South Korea with an outstanding long-range strike just before half-time. Join me in 10 minutes for the second half of this match. Let's hope it continues in a similar vein to how the first half finished!
After a frantic few minutes of play, the referee decides it's time for a break, and blows the whistle to mark the end of the first half.
MATA NEARLY RESTORES SPAIN'S LEAD IMMEDIATELY! The Chelsea man races through one-on-one with Jin-Hyeon Kim but can only curl his shot past the keeper and past the left-hand post too!
Goal Do-Heon Kim
GOALL!! 1-1! SOUTH KOREA HAVE EQUALISED!! That's an absolutely superb strike from Do-Heon Kim. He picks the ball up on the left before crashing an effort past Reina and into the top corner from fully 30 yards. Game on!
Spain will not have expected to have been kept busy defensively this evening, but they certainly are, as South Korea look to break on the counter-attack on the rare occasions they steal the ball away from the world champions.
The corner is dealt with by the assured figure of Raul Albiol, who heads the ball well away from danger.
Tae-Hee Nam is proving a handful down the right for South Korea, and has got the better of Monreal and Ramos on a couple of occasions already in this match. His latest foray results in a corner for his side.
Torres runs the ball into the corner before cutting back and curling an inviting ball with his right foot across the six-yard box right in front of Jin-Hyeon Kim's goal. Any kind of touch there would have made it 2-0 to Del Bosque's side.
Pepe Reina is forced to come rushing off his line to hack the ball away after his defenders allowed a fairly innocuous looking pass from midfield to run all the way through to him. The Liverpool 'keeper got there just in the nick of the time though, under pressure from Ji Dong-Won.
Spain nearly carve open another opening but Torres' pass to his Chelsea team-mate is overhit and the South Korea goalkeeper Jin-Hyeon Kim is out quickly to secure the ball.
NUMBER OF FOULS COMMITTED: Spain 5-1 South Korea. I'm fairly certain Sergio Ramos is responsible for at least three of those fouls.
SCRAP THAT!! That's not so comfortable. Sergio Ramos overruns the ball and attempts to win back possession but instead gives away another free-kick for a rash challenge on the South Korean right-winger.
The game has calmed down after a period of end-to-end stuff, and Spain have the ball under control and are passing it between their defenders on the half-way line comfortably.
Spain concede a corner after a ball from the right is headed behind by Raul Albiol. The South Korean's are throwing men forward here, which you perhaps wouldn't have expected considering the one-sided first 20 minutes of this match.
MATCH FACT: South Korea will look for an increasingly unexpected win tonight that would make it three wins from three games for their coach Choi Kang-Hee, after they beat Kuwait 2-0, and Uzbekistan 4-2 in February in his first two games in charge.
Tonight's game is a big chance for the likes of Torres, Silva, Mata and Cazorla to stake a claim for a starting place in Del Bosque's XI, with the defence, and midfield base already fairly certain.
PENALTY SHOUT FOR SPAIN!! Torres looks to be caught by a stray boot as he looks to cut inside on the left side of South Korea's penalty area, but the referee is having none of it, and waves the Spanish player's protests away.
CHANCE FOR SOUTH KOREA!! Jung-Woo shoots just wide after drifting past a couple of challenges on the right-hand side and making his way to the edge of Spain's penalty area. Pepe Reina looked fairly worried when that left his boot there!
This is starting to feel like a training game for the world champions, they are cutting through the South Korea defence at will here and Fernando Torres very nearly extends their lead but for a smart stop from Jin-Hyeon Kim.
GOOD SAVE FROM JIN-HYEON!! Santi Cazorla slams a low effort at goal that the South Korea has to dive to turn past his left-hand post. From the resulting corner, David Silva got in on the assault on South Korea's goal by curling a shot just wide.
A quick mention for Benat, by the way, who has seamlessly moved into the international set-up. He provided a wonderful pass to set Navas free and set up a goal during Spain's 2-0 win over Serbia at the weekend, and today he has provided an equally brilliant ball for Torres' goal.
Spain have looked very comfortable in the opening exchanges of this match, and have spent much of it inside South Korea's half, as their opposition struggle to deal with their pace and movement.
That goal makes Torres his country's fourth-highest goalscorer, with 28 goals, as he overtakes Fernando Morientes.
Goal Fernando Torres
GOALLL!! FERNANDO TORRES THE SCORER!! The Chelsea player nods the ball past Jin-Hyeon Kim after the ball is served to him on a plate by Benat from the left-hand side. What a fantastic cross that was! An accomplished finish from the striker too.
Spain win a corner after an extended period of pressure on the edge of the South Korea penalty area resulted in Xabi Alonso lashing a firm strike at goal from distance. Jin-Hyeon Kim is across well to palm the ball round the post though.
Sergio Ramos is given a talking to by the referee after a fairly clumsy challenge in the centre circle. South Korea have the ball and are able to work it forward from the back.
There are a number of empty seats inside the stadium which is surprising considering this match involves the world and european champions Spain. I wonder what the residents of Bern are doing instead!
NEARLY A GOAL FOR SPAIN!! Santi Cazorla flashes an effort towards goal that deflects off his own player Fernando Torres and flies inches wide of Jin-Hyeon Kim's left-hand post. Spain very nearly took the lead there!
Spain have started the game brightly here, and are moving the ball amongst themselves with ease. South Korea are chasing shadows in these opening few minutes.
Nacho Monreal does well down the left-hand side to ghost past the challenge of Hyo-Jin Choi and whip a cross towards the near post but Jin-Hyeon Kim is out to claim the ball ahead of Fernando Torres. Alert play from the South Korea goalkeeper.
AND WE ARE OFF... South Korea get us underway.
The teams make their way out on to the pitch and we are just minutes away from kick-off here.
SOUTH KOREA TEAM NEWS: Lee Dong-Gook starts upfront for Choi Kang-Hee's side, but the selection of the South Korea squad has been shrouded in controversy since its announcement. Arsenal striker Park Chu-Young does not make the 25-man contingent after the fallout of the 26-year old's decision to defer compulsory military service for his country.
SPAIN TEAM NEWS: Chelsea duo Fernando Torres and Juan Mata both start for Spain, as does Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina. Despite missing out on the final squad of 23 both Benat and Nacho Monreal are given a chance to impress Del Bosque and are in the starting XI for the world and european champions, with the team's representatives from Barcelona yet to meet up with the squad.
Subs: Casillas, De Gea, Dominguez, Jordi Alba, Bruno, Juanfran, Javi Garcia, Navas, Adrian, Soldado, Negredo
Spain (4-3-3): Reina; Arbeloa, Albiol, Ramos, Monreal; Xabi Alonso, Beñat, Cazorla; Mata, Silva, Torres
Without further ado, here are the starting XIs for both teams:
The Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque cut his squad down to 23 on Sunday, ahead of the European Championships, with Adrian Lopez and Roberto Soldado the two highest profile players to be deemed surplus to requirements. With his final squad decided, Del Bosque will use the match this evening, and his side's final warm-up friendly against China this coming Sunday, to fine tune his starting XI. South Korea will enjoy testing themselves against the world champions as they prepare for two important World Cup 2014 qualification matches against Qatar and Lebanon.
Good evening and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the international friendly between Spain and South Korea in Switzerland. My name is Charlie Scott and I will be providing you with minute-by-minute coverage of the match as it unfolds.
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