World Cup 2006: Spain demolishes Ukraine

Spain 4 – Ukraine 0 was the final score. Who would’ve predicted that scoreline? Not me, not anyone else. No goals for Shevchenko and two for David Villa of Spain. I’d never heard of the guy, but it seems like we’ll hear more of him.

Spain was impressive to start with and converted their chances through Alonso in the 13th minute. A header off a corner that slipped between the defender at the near post and the goalkeeper. Good goal, but the ‘keeper should’ve done better.

The second one was a deflected free kick of David Villa and the goalkeeper had no chance. Still, it didn’t seem that his positioning was all that good. In 20 minutes, Spain was up 2 – 0 and you’d have fancied their chances to win the game.

Same score at half-time and Ukraine made one change and the sub appeared to have injected some new life into the team. They looked good for a couple of minutes and then at the other end Fernando Torres was sent through and had the last defender running with him and he failed to beat the goalkeeper. Just after getting his shot away, he fell down. Incredibly, the referee awarded a penalty. I was wondering what he was signalling.

The worst part was that Ukraine’s defense had lost a key player–he was sent off. The replays confirmed that the decision was ridiculous at best. There is a serious need to have some sort of instant review for these kinds of decisions. This changed the complexion of the match for Ukraine.

David Villa booted in the enusing penalty and it was Spain 3 – Ukraine 0. No way back, not with 10 men against an inspired Spainish team. Raul got to see some action as a substitute as did Cesc Fabregas, the boy wonder from Arsenal. He became the youngest Spanish player ever at the World Cup finals.

Torres added a fourth goal via a Puyol header-pass, blasting the ball past the goalkeeper. The misery was complete.

Ukraine must have been relieved to get off the field. They’ll wonder about what might’ve happened had that red card not been awarded.

The Spanish team will be extremely thrilled with this match. The defence was solid, their midfield creative, and their forwards scored goals. You can’t ask for a better performance from any team. If they continue to play like this it’s hard to see teams stopping them. They’ve got so many attacking players, they’re hard to defend against.

Maybe the fact that Spain didn’t get a lot of attention from the press was helpful for them. Let’s hope they cope well with the media interest and pressure now.

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