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May 30, 2014
• 4:00 PM
• Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Sevilla
Referee: L. Jemini
• Attendance: 35000
Fernando Torres 51'
90' + 3'
Free kick just outside the area, to the left of the goal here for Spain as Deulofeu is taken down. Silva curls it in to Iturraspe, but it's headed over the bar. That may just about do it, with only 30 seconds remaining on the clock.
90' + 1'
90' + 1'
There will be four minutes of added time, as Spain once again amp up the pressure in search of a final goal to cap the night off in style.
FABREGAS! Good run into the box, he gets onto the ball and tries to chip the keeper, but Quinonez gets a hand to it. Sill no sign of how much time will be added on...
BUSQUETS OFF THE BAR! Iniesta picks out his Barcelona teammate at the top of the box, and he shoots back across the face of goal. Quinonez's momentum was taking him the other way, and he could only watch helplessly as the ball strikes straight off the woodwork and back out. Inches away from a third goal for Spain.
Great ball from Fabregas to Deulofeu, who passes off for Silva. Boliva seem to have a bit more desire at the moment, however, as Silva is swarmed and forced into another giveaway. Just a few minutes left to play now with Spain looking content on seeing this one out.
GoalAndrés Iniesta Luján
GOLAZOOOOO! Andres Iniesta with a fine run, before shooting from 20 yards out, and beating Quinonez at the far post. The Bolivar keeper was rooted to the ground, but there was absolutely nothing he could do to keep that out.
FABREGAS! The midfielder has a shot of his own now, but fires it just on the wrong side of the post. Quinonez got down quick, however, and he very well may have gotten his hands to that if it were on target.
Azpilicueta screaming for a pass as Pedro tries to dance through the defence, but it rolls out for a goal kick. Smart from Pedro not to pass it over as the Chelsea defender was standing in an offside position. That's the last we'll see from Pedro today as he comes off to a thunderous applause. replaced by Deulofeu.
STAT ATTACK: This is Bolivia’s first friendly against a European team since they drew 1-1 with Ireland in May 2007.
Another fine save by Quinonez to deny Pedro! The Bolivar keeper has stands his ground, blocking the Barcelona forward's poke towards goal after getting on the end of a Fabregas pass.
AZPILICUETA! Moreno makes a lovely run along the left, and sends a perfect cross in for Azpilicueta at the far post, but he smacks his first-time shot into the side netting. The two full-backs linking up well there, nearly doubling La Roja's lead.
GREAT HUSTLE BY PEDRO! The winger chases down a ball into the area and just gets a touch to push it past the keeper. It runs a bit too far, however, as he's forced to retreat. He picks out Fabregas at the top of the box, who crosses just inches too far from Busquets as Quinonez is able to collect.
Spain have really taken this game over. They enjoyed the bulk of possession in the first half as well but really couldn't manage to convert it into chances. They're looking much more clinical in the second half, and should be up by a few goals if not for some poor finishing.
Silva and Iniesta linking up incredibly well in midfield! The two seem to have a great understanding, and it may be something Del Bosque will consider when picking his starting XI to face Holland in a couple week's time.
The game has certainly opened up with the goal, however a multitude of substitutions has slowed the pace yet again. Bolivia make two of their own in midfield, while Torres, Xavi and Cazorla come on for Busquets, Silva and Fabregas.
APPEALS FOR A PENALTY NOT GIVEN! Fabregas takes a pass from inside the area, beats Gutierrez before being taken down by Marvin Bejarno. Referee sees it as a clean tackle, and it appeared that way, as play resumes without a whistle.
WHAT IS TORRES THINKING?! The Chelsea forward certainly seems to be lacking in confidence. He gets on the end of a cross, but under pressure from Marvin Bejarno, he tries to pull it back to the centre with his header. It's straight into a crown of Bolivian players by Torres, however, as Raldes heads back to his keeper and another chance goes begging.
Great ball from Xavi! Spain starting to find their way through at the moment. The veteran midfielder picks out Pedro with a pass, but it runs just a bit too far as Quinonez sees it behind for a goal kick.
NICE SAVE QUINONEZ! Pedro fires from just outside the area, but the Bolivian keeper gets a hand to it, pushing the rebound high into the air. Torres gets onto the follow up but sends it behind for a goal kick.
HORRENDOUS MISS FROM TORRES! Just moments after his penalty goal, the Chelsea striker is played clean through on goal, with Marvin Bejarno playing him onside. Quinonez rushes out of his goal, and Torres goes for the chip, but lofts it 10 yards over the goal! Shocking stuff from the goalscorer.
Penalty GoalFernando Torres
GOAAAAL! Torres makes the most of the referee's blunder, slotting home confidently from the spot, straight down the middle with the Bolivian keeper diving to his right.
PENALTY TO SPAIN! It was certainly a delayed call from the Albanian referee, but it's a penalty nonetheless. Gutierrez gets his elbow into the back of Martinez off a corner, who made the most of the minimal contact to fool the referee.
Spain win it back quickly, however, as they have done all game. Cazorla takes a pass from Iniesta and gets fouled hard by the Bolivian captain Raldes, giving Spain another free kick.
After a good spell of passing, Spain give the ball away through Sani Cazorla, forcing Iniesta into a foul as he takes down Arce and Bolivia win themselves a free kick and their first possession of the half.
Andrés Iniesta Luján
Spain kick-off and the second half is underway! Andres Iniesta and Raul Albiol on at half to replace Gerard Pique and Juan Mata. Just the two Spanish changes to speak about at the break.
Pedro has been one of the bright spots for Spain through the opening 45 minutes, while Cazorla has also performed well in his role as distributor. Still, Bolivia are defending well and making it very difficult for La Roja to find a breakthrough.
Into injury time now, and Spain win a free kick again, in the exact same spot Mata missed from moments earlier. This time it's Pedro taken down by Miguel Bejarno. Cazorla takes and whips it straight into the wall. That's the last of the action for the first half as we head into the break all knotted up at zeros.
GREAT SAVE QUINONEZ! The free kick is whipped into the area and amid the mess of bodies, it's directed towards goal by a Spanish head. A great reactionary stop from the Bolivian keeper denies the header, however, as we remain scoreless.
Following a quickly taken free kick, Spain win another foul now just to the left of the penalty area as Pedro is taken down by Mojica. Another chance for them to do something, but they have to start taking advantage soon!
Yellow CardAlejandro Chumacero
Great job by Gutierrez to win the ball back from Mata along the right and push forward. He tries to elude Cazorla, but gives it away in a dangerous area, forcing Raldes into a foul. Mata takes the free kick from just outside the area, but can't get his shot on target, as it sails a few inches over the bar.
Spain are not committing nearly enough men forward, which is strange considering the minimal threat Bolivia have posed in attack. There's often all but two or three men behind the ball for Spain, and they're being asked to go up against eight or nine from Bolivia. This game could really use a goal to open things up a tad.
Bolivia finally break on a counter and get into the Spanish penalty area. Moreno makes himself available in the middle, but Chumacero can't get his cross through as he has to settle for a corner off the Martinez block.
PEDRO! Much better from Spain! They're really starting to amp up the pressure now. This time the Barcelona forward hits one from 20 yards out, but Quinonez scurries to his right to make a diving stop.
The corner is poor as Quinonez is out to collect. Bolivia start up an attack but again give it away before they make it to half. They've struggled to get any possession in the attacking half since the opening five minutes.
SUPERB BLOCK! Cazorla is played in behind the defence and gets into a shooting position just outside the six yard box. He squares himself to the ball and tries to curl one in at the far post, but Eguino soars in from out of nowhere to get a vital block in and send it behind for a corner.
AZPILICUETA! The right-back gets into an attacking position at the top of the box and takes a pass from Mata. He hits it first time, but there's just not enough bend at it rolls inches wide of the near post past a sprawling Quinonez.
Again Torres is at the forefront of the action, this time chasing down a lose ball and beating Eguino along the left. He cuts into the centre but can't pick out Cazorla as Mojica intercepts, creating yet another turnover in the final third.
Poor from Torres! He gets the ball at the top of the area, and takes a few strides away from goal before turning and finding space for a shot. He lines it up and hits it, but seems to scuff it just a bit as it was seriously lacking pace as it rolls well wide of the far post.
Spain's tiki-taka style is working against them thus far. Their passing is hardly clinical enough in the final third, which has led to a number of giveaways. Bolivia are doing an excellent job of pressuring the Spanish ball carriers.
Bolivia conceding a number of fouls early on. Iturraspe is taken down in midfield, and after a quickly taken free kick, Moreno is pulled down on the left to prevent him from splitting two defenders. The ensuing cross in is poor, however, and headed clear with ease.
Xavi finally takes and fires it well over the bar. Bolivia holding strong through the opening 20 minutes.
More good one touch passing from Spain has Bolivia on their heels a bit. Xavi lays it off for Mata who is fouled just a bit outside the area. There's a lengthy delay as the wall continues to creep forward in what could very well be Spain's best chance of the match to this point.
STAT ATTACK: Spain have lost just twice in their last 35 matches, once in the Confederations Cup final against Brazil, and the other a friendly vs South Africa.
Nicely worked by Spain! Pedro makes a lovely run along the left and breaks into the box. He beats Raldes and wins Spain a corner which doesn't result in much for La Roja.
Spain seem to be getting frustrated with their inability to break down this Bolivia back line in the opening stages. Working the ball around well in midfield, it comes to Pique, who has a go from 30 yards out, blasting it well over the bar.
TORRES! The Chelsea striker gets on the end of a long ball played over the top, but can't bring it down cleanly with only the keeper to beat and is forced to retreat. He works a give and go before sending a poor cross into the box that gets by everyone and rolls harmlessly behind for a goal kick.
Moreno has been playing very far forward from his left-back position, and has seen himself into some good areas. This time he takes a pass just inside the Bolivia half, and gets a good touch on the ball to elude the defender and win a free kick.
Fernando Torres sees his first touch on the ball, starting his first game in over a year for the national team. He creates a turnover inside the Bolivia penalty area, and lays it off for Cazorla, but he is unable to pick out Pedro with the cross and the visitors escape what could have been a disastrous start.
La Roja doing what they do best in the early stages, passing it around and seeing plenty of the ball, but are unable to find a way through thus far. Bolivia win the ball back and break on a counter, but a through ball sent in by Arce has too much pace on it and Reina is able to collect.
After just 20 seconds, Iturraspe sees his first action in a Spain shirt, fouling Moreno, giving the visitors a free kick from 25 yards out. It's curled into the box well, but Spain deal with the danger and regain possession.
After a friendly, albeit lengthy, exchange of handshakes between the players and managers, we're underway in Sevilla! Bolivia kick-off, wearing the white away shirts, moving left to right, with Spain sporting their all red kits.
STAT ATTACK: Their last meeting between these two teams came in the group stage of the 1994 World Cup, with Spain winning 3-1.
As is usually the case, Bolivia have put out a team with 10 domestic based players, the exception being striker Marcelo Moreno who plays for Cruziero in Brazil. Four players from the starting XI play for Bolivar, who are currently in the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores.
BOLIVIA XI (3-5-1-1): Quinonez; Raldes, Gutierrez, Eguino; Melean, M. Bejarano, Mojica, D. Bejarano, Chumacero; Arce; Moreno.
Bolivia will not pose the toughest test to Spain, having finished South American qualifying tied with Paraguay for last place. La Verde picked up just two points away from home during qualification, and have only managed to qualify for the World Cup once since 1950, in 1994, where they faced Spain in the group stage, falling 3-1 at Soldier Field in Chicago.
The less capped Pepe Reina gets the start in goal tonight for Spain, but he will have a solid centre-back duo in front of him. On the flanks, however, Chelsea's Azpilicueta and Sevilla's Alberto Moreno (a combined seven caps) will have the chance to state their case as to why they should travel with the team to Brazil. Meanwhile, Bilbao midfielder Ander Iturraspe will pick up his first international cap today, alogside the well-traveled Xavi, making his 131st appearance for La Roja. Del Bosque has opted to give Fernando Torres, the most capped forward on Spain's preliminary squad, an opportunity to show he's still got it, after a tumultuous season at Stamford Bridge.
SUBS: Albiol, Busquets, Casillas, Silva, De Gea, Fabregas, Iniesta, Alba, Deulofeu.
SPAIN XI (4-3-3): Reina; Azpilicueta, Pique, Javi Martinez, Moreno; Xavi, Iturraspe, Cazorla; Mata, Pedro, Torres.
The team sheet is out, so let us have ourselves a look at the starting XIs:
Vicente del Bosque has just a few days to name the final 23-man roster he will take with him to Brazil. This is Spain's last match before the roster deadline, and he has given his fringe players a final chance to make a lasting impression and earn a spot on the World Cup squad.
Good evening footy fans around the world, and welcome to today's match between Spain and Bolivia, the first tune-up for la Roja ahead of next month's World Cup, played at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in Sevilla. I'm Alex Moretto and I'll be your in-game host, guiding you through the match LIVE as it happens!
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