Spain, England saunter home

Spain, England saunter home

Defending champs see off Bolivia 2-0; Chile's Sanchez dazzles

Spain, England saunter home

Fernando Torres and Andres Iniesta were on target as Spain dominated Bolivia for a 2-0 win in the first of two international friendlies ahead of their World Cup defense in Brazil.

Torres calmly stroked a 51st-minute spot kick down the middle with goalkeeper Romel Quinonez diving right to convert a penalty earned by Javi Martinez.

Spain controlled play at the Sanchez Pizjuan but found it hard to convert against a well-organized Bolivian team before Iniesta charged forward to curl around Quinonez in the 84th to seal victory. 

Vicente del Bosque employed an experimental team, trying out different combinations with key Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid players still missing following the Champions League final last week.

“I have a lot of confidence in Fernando Torres,” Del Bosque said. “We’re happy with his work.”

While Juan Mata and Pedro Rodriguez managed scoring opportunities, it wasn’t until the second-half entrances of Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and David Silva that Spain looked more capable of scoring, with Cesc Fabregas coming on to reprise his role as an unorthodox striker. The Spanish team also announced their 23-man squad on Saturday.England win

Underwhelming up front and uneasy at the back but England still signed off with a victory at Wembley Stadium before the World Cup.

Only one forward contributed a goal in the 3-0 victory over Peru on Friday, with Daniel Sturridge’s deft strike in the first half breaking the dreary deadlock. But coach Roy Hodgson was still encouraged that his players managed to successfully exploit Peru’s inability to defend set pieces to extend their lead in the second half. 

From two corners in a five-minute span, Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka both netted in England’s first friendly since the 23-man World Cup squad was named.

“It didn’t look as if it would be too comfortable in the first half, but as soon as Daniel scored that wonderful goal the game wasn’t in doubt,” Hodgson said. “To do it in front of 85,000 people was a great send-off, the atmosphere was a vote of confidence.”Dzeko brace

Striker Edin Dzeko scored a double to lead Bosnia to a 2-1 win over Ivory Coast in an international friendly in Missouri on Friday.

Dzeko scored once in each half to give Bosnia a 2-0 lead before Didier Drogba scored a late consolation goal for Ivory Coast, Africa's highest ranked national team.

With both teams having qualified for next month's World Cup, Friday's match gave both sides a chance to limber up for the tournament with little pressure.

Meanwhile, Barcelona striker Alexis Sanchez set up all three goals as Chile fought back from 2-0 down to beat Egypt 3-2 on Friday in their penultimate World Cup warm-up match.

The Chileans, who play Australia in their World Cup opener on June 13, fell behind to two early goals on the counter-attack.

First, Mohamed Salah broke free down the left after 12 minutes and drilled a shot high into the Chilean net.

Four minutes later, Khaled Kamar did the same down the right, beating the Chilean offside trap and chipping goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to double Egypt's lead.

Then Sanchez took over.

Stuani winner

Uruguay missed the clinical finishing of convalescent Luis Suarez when they beat Northern Ireland 1-0 in a World Cup warm-up on Friday.

Only a fine display by visiting goalkeeper Roy Carroll and a poor final touch by the home side in front of goal at the Centenario, site of the first World Cup final won by Uruguay in 1930, prevented a rout.

Substitute Christian Stuani, who came on at halftime for Diego Forlan, put the dominant Uruguayans ahead in the 61st minute from fellow striker Edinson Cavani's pass.