Scottish play-off dreams were dashed as the tournament holders upheld their flawless Euro 2012 qualifying record and David Villa hit his 50th international goal for La Roja
A David Silva brace in the first half and a David Villa goal just after the break were enough for Spain to maintain their perfect record in Group I as they defeated Scotland 3-1 in a Euro 2012 qualifier in Alicante on Tuesday evening.
The hosts wasted no time in stamping their authority on the match, keeping the ball effortlessly in the early stages. Their possession paid off in the fifth minute when David Villa sent a pass down the left of the Scotland box for debutant Jordi Alba, who pulled the ball back for David Silva, and the talented Spaniard squeezed a left-footed shot underneath Alan McGregor at his near post.
The Scots created a half chance three minutes later when Barry Bannan showed admirable determination to pick up a loose ball on the right-hand side and whip a deep cross to the back post for Steven Naismith, who could only manage to head wide after stretching to get a connection on the pass.
In front of a vibrant crowd, the home nation almost doubled their lead in the 40th minute when Santi Cazorla twisted and turned in the Scottish box before scuffing a right-footed shot that looked destined for the bottom left corner until McGregor somehow got down to turn the ball round the post.
David Silva did manage to grab the second goal in the 43rd minute. Picking up the ball on the right wing, the Manchester City man cut inside on his left foot before exchanging a neat one-two with Pedro and then sliding a shot through the legs of Christophe Berra into the bottom left corner, with McGregor having no chance.
David Villa scored his 50th goal for Spain in the 54th minute when Cazorla, Pedro, and Silva all linked up in the final third before the ball found its way to the Barcelona striker just inside the Scotland box, and he calmly found the bottom right corner.
Scotland were given a lifeline, albeit an extremely narrow one, in the 64th minute when Craig Mackail-Smith was brought down in the box by the on-rushing Victor Valdes and the visitors were awarded a penalty. Recently-introduced substitute David Goodwillie dispatched the spot-kick expertly into the top left corner.
Despite a valiant effort, The Scots will now relinquish their play-off place to Czech Republic, who won 4-1 against Lithuania on Tuesday. Holders Spain qualify for the European Championships as group winners.