David Villa struck twice, and missed a penalty, in another classy Spanish passing display that, this time, brought the desired result. Spain will however be concerned by their continuing profligacy in front of goal, missing a host of chances which may yet come back to hurt them in a group which looks likely to be decided by goal difference.
Coach Vicente Del Bosque made two changes to the side that fell to a shock defeat against Switzerland, David Silva and the injured Andres Iniesta making way for Jesus Navas and a fit-again Fernando Torres, the Liverpool striker playing through the middle with Villa moving across to take Silva’s place on the left of the attack.
It was from the left wing that Villa scored the goal of the tournament so far, a couple of sublime touches taking him past two defenders before cutting inside a third and curling a shot inside the far post. By this point only 17 minutes had passed and Villa had already been denied by the crosssbar from 25 yards, but anyone expecting a cricket score was to be disappointed.
Fernando Torres is visibly lacking in sharpness following a season troubled by injury and Liverpool’s dismal form. He was wasteful when he came on as a substitute against Switzerland and was even more so here, blazing over when put through by Villa, nodding an unmarked header straight into the ground. Luckily so blessed are Spain with attacking options that they can afford to carry a player while he regains his touch.
Villa doubled the Spanish lead five minutes into the second half with a deflected shot from the edge of the area, and should have had a hat trick when Izaguirre tripped Navas in the area, but fired his penalty inches wide of the post.
The result confirms Honduras’s exit from the competition and leaves Spain needing a win against Chile to guarantee qualification. This would leave both teams level on six points so goal difference will come into play unless Honduras beat Switzerland.