VADUZ, June 6 (Reuters) - Striker David Villa scored a neatly taken double to earn Spain a 2-0 Euro 2008 qualifier win away to Liechtenstein that lifted them into second place in Group F on Wednesday.
Villa put Spain ahead in the eighth minute when he slotted
home from a tight angle after rounding the keeper and took his
tally to 12 goals in 23 games with a spectacular overhead kick
Villa's early goals were rare bright spots in an otherwise
intermittent performance from Spain and the striker spurned the
chance to complete a hat-trick when he fired an injury-time
penalty against the post.
The win, Spain's fourth in a row in Group F, left them on 15
points from seven matches, one behind Sweden who crushed Iceland
5-0 in Stockholm.
The Swedes, however, could be awarded all three points from
Saturday's match against Denmark which was abandoned with the
score at 3-3 after a Danish fan attacked the referee.
Liechtenstein had notched up a win and a draw in their last
two qualifiers, but they were caught cold by Spain with Villa
striking twice inside the opening 15 minutes.
Villa scored a coolly taken first when he raced on to a
perfectly weighted through pass from Cesc Fabregas, drew keeper
Peter Jehle and slotted home with his left foot from a tight
He added a second six minutes later, this time finding the
back of the net with a clever, angled overhead kick after
Valencia team mate David Silva had clipped the ball across the
area from the goalline.
Liechtenstein rarely gave Spain keeper Pepe Reina anything
to worry about, midfielder Franz Burgmeier coming closest to
pulling a goal back when he hit the woodwork with a dangerous
curling shot from 20 metres.
Spain had plenty of chances to extend their lead, but Villa
wasted two great opportunities to complete his hat-trick in the
First he fluffed his control as he tried to round Jehle when
he was put in the clear five minutes from time and then slammed
a penalty against the post after the keeper had brought him