Recap: Australia vs. Spain


The Sports Network

Curitiba, Brazil ( - Spain ended its World Cup campaign on a high note on Monday, cruising to a 3-0 defeat of Australia at the Arena da Baixada.

Successive defeats to open the World Cup meant that the reigning champions entered Monday's affair with elimination already assured.

But La Roja managed to avoid an embarrassing last-place finish by getting a resounding win over the Socceroos.

"We rounded off our campaign in the best possible way, the players did great," Spain coach Vicente del Bosque said. "They put us under the cosh in the opening minutes but we recovered and then took control. We were the better team. There are a lot of players in this group who can play a part in the future, there's no need to go ruling anyone out. My future? We'll have a look over the next few days and weeks. There's no rush."

David Villa started the match and repaid Del Bosque's faith by opening the scoring in the 36th minute. The 32-year-old, who recently signed with New York City FC, got on the end of Juanfran's square pass and flicked a shot behind his own leg and into the back of the net.

Spain continued to dominate the match on the opposite side of halftime, and it was Fernando Torres that doubled the nation's advantage in the 69th minute when he took Andres Iniesta's threaded pass and slipped a shot past Mathew Ryan.

The rout was complete eight minutes from time when Juan Mata took a pass from Cesc Fabregas and fired home his first World Cup goal.

The result sees Spain finish on three points to lock up third place in Group B.

Australia, meanwhile, suffered defeat in each of its three games to slide to the bottom of the group.

"It was disappointing. We started well but Spain's quality came through and they ended up imposing their style and taking control," Australia coach Ange Postecoglou said. "To be honest, we were tired and we gave the ball away far too easily.

"At this World Cup we've shown positive things that we can work on, though we're still a bit short of matching the world's best. We'll work hard to get back here within four years and hit a higher standard. Del Bosque came over to me and congratulated us on our performance at the competition, which was very nice of him. I really admire how the Spanish play football, they always try and play the right way and that, for me, deserves a great deal of respect."

Game Notes

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