Spanish stars blank US in football friendly

Updated: 05 June 2011 12:23 IST

Villarreal striker Santi Cazorla scored two first-half goals and reigning World Cup champion Spain routed the United States 4-0 on Saturday in an international football friendly.

Spanish stars blank US in football friendly

Massachusetts:

Villarreal striker Santi Cazorla scored two first-half goals and reigning World Cup champion Spain routed the United States 4-0 on Saturday in an international football friendly.


Cazorla found the back of the net in the 28th and 41st minutes, each time while unmarked at the top of the penalty area and scoring off deadly centering passes from Manchester City playmaker David Silva.

Alvaro Negredo took a pass from Xabi Alonzo and raced through a struggling American defense to blast a goal past US goalkeeper Tim Howard in the 32nd minute.

"It couldn't get any worse than it was in the first half," said Howard.

"When you play the best team in the world, they can make you look silly at times."

Fernando Torres banked in a shot off the goalpost to his right from the heart of the penalty area in the 73rd minute for the final goal. Borja Valero split a defensive seam with a perfect lead pass to the Chelsea striker.

"We dominated, but we are also aware that they had important players who did not play," Spain coach Vicente del Bosque said.

It was the most lopsided US loss since Mexico blanked the Americans 5-0 in the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup final.

"When you challenge yourselves against the best teams, you have to be accept that this is the way it's going to be sometimes," said US coach Bob Bradley.

The biennial North American tournament's next edition opens Sunday with the Americans' playing their first match at Detroit against Canada on Tuesday.

"If we win the Gold Cup in a couple of weeks, nobody will remember this," said Howard, who was the US captain.

"It's not a lot of fun when you get beat up like that but we've got to pick ourselves up and come back very quickly. We got ourselves beat up. We have to lick our wounds, stand up and be counted.

"Sometimes you come back and step up after a thing like that."

The Spaniards, who boasted six players from Champions League winners Barcelona, improved to 4-1 all-time against the Americans, who upset Spain 2-0 in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup semi-finals in South Africa in their last meeting to snap Spain's 35-match unbeaten streak.

The Americans were without veteran Carlos Bocanegra and star midfielder Landon Donovan. Donovan was ill but is expected to play against Canada.

Mindful of the upcoming tournament, Bradley kept several regulars out of the starting lineup and Spain dominated the attack and tempo from the start.

The Spaniards dominated ball possession with skillful passing and elusive movement away from the ball.

They had an early goal waved off on a questionable offside call and barely missed another when Negredo, who had 20 goals for Sevilla last season, chipped a shot over Howard that went off the crossbar in the 12th minute.

Spanish World Cup hero David Villa forced a tough save from Everton's Howard in the 16th minute as well.



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