Villa Hits Two As Spain Crush Ukraine 4-0

LEIPZIG, Germany -- Spain made their best start to a World Cup finals, demolishing 10-man Ukraine 4-0 on Wednesday on an afternoon the tournament debutants would rather forget.

A Ukrainian fan cheers in the stands before the Group H match between Spain and Ukraine in Leipzig, June 14, 2006.

Two goals from the outstanding David Villa, one a deflected free kick and the second from the first penalty awarded in the competition, a header from Xabi Alonso and a powerful volley from Fernando Torres secured Spain's emphatic Group H victory.

Ukraine were reduced to 10 men after 47 minutes when Vladislav Vashchyuk was harshly sent off for tugging at Torres's shorts.

Spain took their run to 23 matches without defeat since Luis Aragones became coach after Euro 2004.

Although it is too early to consider them potential champions, Spain played sparkling football in defence, midfield and attack and could easily have added more goals.

In contrast, Andriy Shevchenko, the 2004 Footballer of the Year who has been signed by Chelsea from AC Milan for almost 30 million pounds, hardly had a meaningful touch.

Spain went ahead after 13 minutes, Alonso bravely getting his head to the ball from Xavi's left-wing corner.

Four minutes later, the lead was doubled when Villa's free kick took a deflection off Andriy Rusol to leave goalkeeper Oleksander Shovkovsky nowhere.

Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin attempted to pep up his side by bringing on Andriy Vorobei and Oleg Shelayev at halftime but his plans were wrecked within 90 seconds of the restart when Vashchuck was harshly shown the red card for hauling back Torres.

Villa made no mistake from the resulting penalty although Shovkovsky got a hand on the ball.

Torres sealed victory with a blistering volley on the run with nine minutes to play.

Source: Reuters

Comments

MattyJ said…
Ukraine played terribly in the first-half, although im sure the heat was a major factor.

The manager needs to realise that a long-ball game is completely ineffective in modern football. It was cringe-worthy here in London and reminded me a lot of the England team tactics a few tournaments back.

As soon as Ukraine started passing the ball about things improved, but the Referee made an outrageous decision. I think they can qualify for the next round. All the big teams (Brazil, France, England) have had poor games so far - no need to panic
Anonymous said…
Spain always has it easy with east European sides...
Referee decision was outrageus but the game was set and decided by then...
With all due respect to Ukraine it doesn't have a Big team but probably good enough to qualify further from group stage.
Go Ukraine!
-heartbroken Pole
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