Villa rounds off international career in style
- 23 June 2014 18:53
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
David Silva’s Spain finished a disappointing Brazil 2014 campaign on a high with a 3-0 win over Australia.
On his final appearance for his country, New York City FC’s David Villa netted in the 36th minute with his ninth goal in the World Cup finals and Spain’s first goal from open play in this year's tournament.
With the 70 minute mark approaching, Fernando Torres doubled the advantage and Juan Mata made it three with eight minutes to play to restore some pride for the defending champions after a punishing 11 days.
Spain were the first team to be eliminated from the tournament after their 2-0 defeat to Chile on Wednesday and Vincente del Bosque rang the changes to hand consolatory minutes to lesser-used members of the squad.
Del Bosque made seven changes in all, bringing Pepe Reina, Juanfran Torres, Raul Albiol, Santi Cazorla Koke, Fernando Torres, and Villa into the line-up, while Australia were without the suspended Tim Cahill after his stunning goal against the Netherlands last time out.
Villa was bringing the curtain down on an historic, trophy-laden international career in Curitiba and he marked the occasion in style with a brilliant back-heel to finish off a surgically incisive Spain attack with ten minutes of the first-half to play.
Iniesta found Juanfran with a clever pass out to the right and the Atletico man picked out his former club teammate in the centre for his 59th international goal in 97 appearances.
A visibly emotional Villa was withdrawn in the 56th minute and, with just over 20 minutes to play, Spain were home and hosed thanks to Fernando Torres, who slotted the ball past Matt Ryan after Iniesta dissected the Australia defence with another breathtaking through ball.
It was three with eight minutes to play courtesy of Juan Mata’s control and finish at the back post and Silva was brought on in place of Xabi Alonso immediately after the goal.
David had one good chance to get himself on the scoresheet but his volley into the ground from the edge of the area bounced the wrong side of Ryan's far post.
Elsewhere, Netherlands wrapped up top spot in Group B with a 2-0 win over Chile in São Paulo.
Norwich City’s Leroy Fer broke the deadlock after 77 minutes with a header and Memphis Depay struck to secure the win with a late tap-in to avoid a meeting with Brazil in the round of 16.
Mexico will provide the opposition for the Netherlands, while Chile will take on the hosts on Saturday.