Spain 4-1 South Korea: Torres on target as world champions maintain momentum ahead of Euro 2012
Vicente del Bosque's men eventually wore down the plucky Asians with Cazorla, Alonso and Negredo also finding the net
By Martin Macdonald
Spain continued their preparation for Euro 2012 with a comfortable 4-1 victory over South Korea in the Stade de Suisse in Switzerland on Wednesday evening.
Fernando Torres was the man to get the ball rolling for his side with a goal in the first period, and despite a mini-fightback from the Asian nation, the current world and European champions marched on to score another three goals and claim a sound victory.
The Iberian nation started superbly, and nearly found the net just five minutes into the match when Santi Cazorla’s strike at goal deflected off Torres, only for the ball to creep agonisingly past the post.
The early pressure from Vicente del Bosque’s side paid off just five minutes later when Benat’s fizzed cross from the left-hand side was met by Torres inside the area, and the Chelsea man nodded the ball past South Korea shot-stopper Jin-Hyeon Kim to become Spain’s fourth highest scorer on 28 goals.
Jin-Hyeon was a busy man in the opening 45 minutes, and kept his side in the match with a series of accomplished saves between the sticks. Both Cazorla and Xabi Alonso tried their luck with driven shots from the edge of the area, both of which were excellently turned around the post by the glovesman.
The South Korean’s heroics acted as a catalyst for the Asian nation to up the tempo of their play, and they almost equalised in the 20th minute when Kim Jung-Woo skipped past a couple of challenges before lashing a shot inches wide, with Jose Reina worried in the Spanish goal.
South Korea continued to probe for their opening goal of the match, and it eventually came a minute before half-time through a Do-Heon Kim thunderbolt. The midfielder picked up the ball on the left hand side before smashing an unstoppable strike from 30 yards into the top corner, leaving Reina helpless.
However, Spain came emerged in the second half with intent, and regained the lead in the 53rd minute when Yong-Hyung Cho blocked a Nacho Monreal strike on goal with his hand inside the box. Xabi Alonso stepped up to coolly dispatch the penalty.
Del Bosque’s men kicked on after their second goal, and were able to add a third just three minutes later through a Cazorla free-kick. The Malaga playmaker showed outstanding initiative to fire a strike under the Korean wall from his set-piece on the edge of the box.
The South Koreans admirably kept up their spirits, however, and came extremely close to grabbing a goal back when Ja-Cheol Koo went on a bursting run through the middle of the Spanish defence, only to smash his shot against the post.
Cerezo Osaka goalkeeper Jin-Hyeon continued to keep the score respectable with a number of brilliant saves in the second half, denying Alvaro Negredo twice from a chip on the edge of the box and a looping header.
But Negredo did eventually find a goal for Spain when the man omitted from the final Euro 2012 squad, Roberto Soldado, sent his compatriot through on goal and the substitute scored with a well-taken finish.
Spain’s final Euro 2012 warm up match comes this weekend when they take on China in Seville, before they head to Poland and Ukraine.
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