BADAJOZ, September 2 (Euro 2008 Qualifying) - Spain bounced back from their latest underwhelming World Cup campaign by thrashing Liechtenstein to kick off their Euro 2008 qualifying adventure with an easy three points in Badajoz.
First-half goals by strikers Fernando Torres and David Villa got the ball
rolling, before Villa - with his second - and Luis Gracia garnished the
scoreline as Luis Aragones' men returned to competitive action two months after
their second-round defeat to France in Germany.
Aragones went with an attacking 4-3-3 formation from the off, Raul joining
Torres and Villa up front, and it paid almost immediate dividends when Mariano
Pernia's close-range shot needed to be well saved by goalkeeper Peter Jehle in
the first minute.
The deadlock was broken in the 20th minute, Villa supplying Torres, who
provided an unforgiving finish from 12 yards into the top corner.
Spain continued to dominate possession, although they failed to create a
clear-cut chance until the second goal arrived in the 45th minute, Villa guiding
the ball home right-footed from 12 yards from the right of the penalty area.
Torres could have notched his second of the night in the 58th minute but his
header from close range was kept out by Jehle.
It did not matter as three minutes later, the hosts scored the third when
Villa finished low from the centre of the penalty area for his second of the
The fourth came in the 65th minute from Garcia, who had come on as a
replacement for Villa.
Pernia sent in a textbook cross from the left and the Liverpool forward
applied a right-footed finish from six yards.
Spain eased off in the final quarter, but they will have tougher challenges
ahead in Group F.