FIFA World Cup: David Villa Brace Fashions Spanish Win Over El Salvador
Two second half goals Saturday from substitute David Villa gave Spain a comfortable win in a FIFA World Cup warm-up match against El Salvador where the halftime changes made by Spain coach Vicente del Bosque made a huge difference to his side's performance.
David Villa, who recently led Atletico Madrid to a La Liga victory, will be key to Spains chances in FIFA World Cup 2014 © AFP
World champions Spain defeated El Salvador 2-0 in their final preparation game ahead of their FIFA World Cup title defence.
Two second half goals Saturday from substitute David Villa gave the Spanish a comfortable win in a match where the halftime changes made by Spain coach Vicente del Bosque made a huge difference to his side's performance.
Del Bosque had said beforehand that he would be giving minutes to Real and Atletico Madrid players who missed out on last week's 2-0 win.
That saw Diego Costa come back into the side in what has to be seen as a test of his recently injured hamstring, while Barca's Jordi Alba also made his first appearance in months.
With Spain kicking off their World Cup defenxe Friday, it was important for the pair to get as many minutes under their belts as possible without suffering any relapse.
Spain should have taken the lead in the fourth minute after Costa made a meal of a challenge from El Salvador goalkeeper, Henry Hernandez. Cesc Fabregas stepped up and sent the spot kick over the bar.
The world champions were on top in the opening minutes with Pedro Rodriguez almost scoring after collecting a Xabi Alonso pass, while Cesc fired over after being set up by the Pedro shortly afterwards.
Spain suffered a worrying moment after 20 minutes when Alba went down clutching his ankle, but he was able to continue after treatment.
The rest of the half saw Spain in control but struggle to score with Costa having a shot charged down and Cesc firing wide after a cross from Andres Iniesta.
Spain kicked off the second half with David Silva, Santi Cazorla and David Villa replacing Andres Iniesta, Pedro and Cesc and the changes saw Spain pose a greater threat to the El Salvador goal as Silva and Cazorla especially injected extra sharpness.
That pressure was rewarded on the hour when Villa finished off a good move involving Alonso and Sergio Ramos. The striker stooped to nod Ramos' knockdown past the keeper.
Sergio Busquets hit the crossbar with 10 minutes remaining, but Villa netted his second of the day three minutes from time following a ball from the lively Silva.