Villa strikes propel Spain; Honduras hold England

Villa strikes propel Spain; Honduras hold England

 David Villa struck twice to extend his record goal tally for Spain to 58 as the World Cup holders eased to a 2-0 win over El Salvador on Saturday in their last warm-up game before the finals in Brazil.

Spain dominated the Central American minnows at the FedEx Stadium and barely broke into a sweat in securing a comfortable victory ahead of their opening Group B match against Netherlands in Salvador on Friday.

David Silva floated the ball into the area three minutes from time and Villa chested it down before firing into the corner on his 96th appearance.

Substitute Lionel Messi scored his 38th goal for Argentina as they breezed past Slovenia 2-0 in their final warm-up game at La Plata.

Argentina’s captain began the match on the bench along with other key players like Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria, with coach Alejandro Sabella fearful of his squad being caught up in the spate of injuries affecting other World Cup finalists.

Sabella used the friendly at the Estadio Unico to test an alternative tactical plan with three at the back and five across the middle before changing things in the second half. Winger Ricky Alvarez opened the scoring in the 12th minute with a low left-foot shot from the edge of the box.

 In the 76th minute Di Maria lobbed the ball from the edge of the box to the left where Aguero headed it down to Messi, who had come on for Alvarez in the 57th, and he dinked it between two defenders and the goalkeeper.

England came up against a resilient Honduras side reduced to 10 men for the last 20 minutes and found themselves short on ideas about how to break them down as they were held to a 0-0 draw in their warm-up match in Miami. England striker Daniel Sturridge had the best chance of the game after 22 minutes but his weak left-foot shot missed the far post and he was guilty of wasting two other good opportunities before a crowd of 45,379 at the Sun Life stadium.

The match was suspended for 43 minutes in the first half due to the threat of lightning although in the second period the sparks were on the pitch with Honduras reduced to 10 men when Brayan Beckeles caught Leighton Baines in the head with his arm.

 Jozy Altidore ended his goal drought to score twice as the United States completed their Cup preparations with a 2-1 win over Nigeria at EverBank Field in Jacksonville. A late Dries Mertens goal gave Belgium a 1-0 victory over Tunisia in their friendly, ensuring they go to Brazil on a high note after a match temporarily halted by hail.

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