CONFEDERATIONS CUP: Spain ship 10 past Tahiti




Spain outclassed a Tahiti side ranked 135 in the world on every level however a spirited attacking display won the hearts of the local supports, and fans world-wide.  Torres grabbed the headlines, scoring four and missing a penalty but this was over shadowed by the local support given to the Tahiti side.

The Maracana was sold out with some 60,000 fans present to watch the game, a third of the total population of Tahiti, and Spain raced out of the blocks scoring inside the first five minutes with Fernando Torres playing a neat one-two with Juan Mata bursting into the box before sliding the ball past Mikael Roche’s near post. The keeper could and should have done better. Many felt that this game would of broke the record for the highest international scoreline (currently 31-0 Australia v American Samoa), however that was not to be. Tahiti hung on in there and rode their luck a few times, and even had the audacity to attack a very good Spanish side. Tahiti star man Steevy Chong Hue ran a full 60 yards with the ball from his own half, beating numerous challenges before eventually being brought down by Raul Albiol 25 yards from goal, Marama Vahirua wasting the resulting kick.

Then Spain hit back with two goals in as many minutes. First a beautiful ball from David Villa let Silva run onto the ball and thread it between Roche and the post, and two minutes later Torres beat the offside trap, chipped the ball over Roche and pass it into the net giving the scoreline what everyone predicted. Silva then returned the favour to Villa passing the ball through the back line allowing Villa to calmly finish it. Four nil at half time

It took Spain just four minutes to add to their lead, with some clever build up play let Nacho Monreal square the ball to Villa, who hammered the ball home. Eight minutes later Torres claimed his hattrick, converting from substitute Jesus Navas’ cross. Villa joined Torres by completing his hattrick, a clever balled over the top allowed Villa to run onto it, replays suggesting he was offside, and when keeper Roche failed to gather it Villa passed it into the empty net. Three minutes later Spain grabbed their eighth and Mata his first, playing a one-two with Silva and firing under the body of Roche. Tahiti’s resolve looked like crumbling.

Spain were handed a penalty, when Ricky Aitamai handled Navas’ cross. The ball definitely hit the hand however it is debateable whether Aitamai deliberately moved his hand to the ball. However Torres hit the bar with the resulting spot kick, and Roche celebrating like Tahiti had won the game, and the crowd followed suit. In between this the keeper had pulled off a spectacular save from a Villa freekick, and he joined in celebrating with the crowd! It wasn’t long before Torres made amends for his mistake, a minute after the spot kick he rounded Roche and slotted the ball home. Spain made it to double figures when Silva turned in the box and fired home.

After the game the entire Tahiti squad made it onto the pitch, and shook hands with the superstars from Spain, and lapped up the applause by the crowd. Tahiti’s squad made mostly of part time players were given the honour of being made professional for a few months, and deserved the limelight with some good attacking display, however the final ball letting them down on occasions. They can certainly take home the fact they played at the famous Maracana stadium in Brazil, playing against world champions Spain, and did not disgrace themselves. Something which can be told to the grand kids.

SPAIN: Reina, Azpilicueta, Albiol, Sergio Ramos (Jesus Navas 46), Monreal, Cazorla (Iniesta 76), Martinez, David Silva, Mata (Fabregas 69), Torres, Villa

TAHITI: Roche, A Tehau (T Tehau 53), Vahirua, Ludivion, Caroine, Bourebare (L Tehau 69), Vallar, Lemaire (Vero74), Chongue Hue, Aitami, J Tehau

20130621 - Confeds Group B


Andy Powell

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