World Cup: Spain grab first 2014 World Cup win after beating Australia 3-0
By David Bowers - Follow me on Twitter @davidalexbowers. Last Updated: 24/06/14 8:55am
Spain: Mata congratulated after scoring third goal of the game
Spain secured their first win of the 2014 World Cup after easing to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Australia.
Goals from David Villa, Fernando Torres and Juan Mata in Curitiba ensured a third-place finish for Spain in Group B, while the Socceroos finish at the bottom with zero points.
Chances were few and far between in the first half, with Australia lacking a considerable attacking presence in the absence of their talismanic forward Tim Cahill, who was suspended for the game.
Spain took the lead after a neat move involving Andres Iniesta and Juanfran was finished off by an inventive flick from Villa, which beat a sprawling Matthew Ryan.
Villa: Flicked in opener
The game was most likely Villa’s last in a Spanish shirt, and the New York City player looked visibly upset after being substituted on the hour mark.
Vicente del Bosque’s side, who have never lost three World Cup group-stage games, doubled their lead on the 69th minute when Iniesta split the Socceroos’ backline to find Torres, who tucked away a confident finish.
Substitute Mata completed a comfortable win after slotting in a third with less than 10 minutes to go, securing victory over a tired Australian side.
Villa: Celebrates his goal
With captain Xavi injured and Iker Casillas dropped, meaning both have certainly played in their last World Cup and probably their final international games too, Spain made seven changes in total.
That allowed Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina, who spent last season on loan at Napoli and is not wanted at Anfield, to make his World Cup debut nine years after his first appearance for the national side.
He was barely troubled as the tournament's lowest-ranked side failed to have any impact against the nation ranked number one before it all kicked off, after three successive major tournament triumphs.
But with the defending champions knowing they were heading home even before this encounter and many considering their long-term futures, there was a real lack of spark.
Mata: Grabbed the third
Midway through the first half, Villa sliced wide Iniesta's cross before his clever backheel teed up left-back Jordi Alba to fire straight at the goalkeeper.
That backheel was employed to more devastating effect in the 36th minute when Iniesta sent right-back Juanfran racing to the touchline and although his cut-back was slightly behind the unmarked striker, Villa diverted in the ball around his standing leg.
Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke, expected to be a key figure in Spain's future rebuilding, had a low long-range drive tipped wide by Ryan but it was one of the old-stagers who unlocked the Socceroos defence again.
Iniesta's through-ball split Australia's two centre-halves and Chelsea striker Torres - the man who began Spain's gold rush with the winner in the final of Euro 2008 - ran in from the left to slide home the second, before Mata converted from close range with eight minutes remaining.
FIFA World Cup Group A
FIFA World Cup Group B
FIFA World Cup Group C
FIFA World Cup Group D
FIFA World Cup Group E
FIFA World Cup Group F
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FIFA World Cup Group G
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FIFA World Cup Group H
World Cup Group B
Spain's David Villa concedes his international career is all but over after scoring against Australia in Curitiba.
Arjen Robben insists there is more to come as Holland reached the last 16 of the World Cup with a 100 per cent record.
Australia boss Ange Postecoglou admitted tiredness caught up with his side as they lost 3-0 to Spain.
- Del Bosque to decide on future
- Van Gaal defends tactics
- Sampaoli proud of Chile side
- Holland finish top of Group B
- Alonso denies quit reports
- Del Bosque to consider future
- Cahill proud of efforts
- Alonso: Eras end with defeats
- Still early days for the Dutch
- Sampaoli's sympathy for Spain
- Conundrum not solved by Costa
- The end of an era for Spain
- Del Bosque: No excuses
- Postecoglou feels for players
- Spain knocked out
- Holland rally past Australia
- Torres: Spain will bounce back
- Del Bosque: We'll bounce back
- Mata: Spain shouldn't change
- Del Bosque considers changes
- Costa unfazed by Brazil jeers
- Van Persie credits Van Gaal
- Ramos targets Spain recovery
- Jara wary of Spanish backlash
- Sampaoli sees faults in win
- Cahill: Lessons to be taken