Torres double ends Ireland Euro dream

A double by Fernando Torres inspired defending champions Spain to a 4-0 thrashing of Ireland on Thursday in their Euro 2012 Group C match and ended Irish hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals.

For all their endeavour in defence, Ireland struggled constantly to cope with the torrent of Spanish attacks as Torres proved he is back to his best with two clinically-taken goals.

Having decided the Euro 2008 final with the winning goal against Germany, Torres netted either side of David Silva second-half strike before his replacement Cesc Fabregas added the fourth seven minutes from time.

"That is a very good win for us," said Spain coach Vicente del Bosque.

"We brought in Torres to score goals, which is what he did and if we stay with this defensive line we will have things easy.

"It will be dangerous to play for the draw against Croatia and we won't play for the draw."

Ireland midfielder Keith Andrews admitted it had been a torrid night.

"We were chasing shadows," said Ireland midfielder Keith Andrews.

"We said before the match we should learn from our mistakes in the first game but then we shot ourselves in the foot by conceding an early goal. Make no mistake they are a top side and we were always up against it.

"In terms of the Italy game we are playing for pride simple as that."

With 66 percent ball possession, 26 shots on goal, 20 of which were on target, Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given had a busy night as Spain dominated while Ireland managed just six shots on goal in total.

The win puts Spain top of the group on goal difference and level on four points with second-placed Croatia, who Del Bosque's world champions face here at Arena Gdansk again on Monday.

Italy, who drew 1-1 with Croatia earlier, have two points in third and can still progress if they beat Ireland in Poznan, Poland, the same day, but the Azzurri are reliant on either Spain or Croatia winning in Gdansk.

Spain had complained to UEFA about the dry condition of the Gdansk pitch during Sunday's 1-1 draw with Italy as Fabregas labelled it "a disaster", but heavy rain during Thursday's match made the issue null and void.

Having used a 4-3-3 formation against Italy without a recognised striker, del Bosque elected to start Torres at the expense of Fabregas.

The Chelsea star rewarded the faith with the opening goal after just four minutes.

With Spain on the attack, Ireland defender Richard Dunne tackled Silva on the edge of the area, but Torres pounced on the loose ball and drilled his shot past Given from a tight angle.

Buoyed by the legions of green-clad fans, who clearly outnumbered the Spanish fans and sang until the end, Ireland battled forward, but any rare first-half forages into the Spain half were quickly snuffed out.

A heavy tackle on Andres Iniesta earned Ireland captain Robbie Keane the game's first booking on 36 minutes and Glenn Whelan followed just before the break for a foul on Silva as it finished 1-0 at the break.

Giovanni Trapattoni brought on Jon Walters for Simon Cox up front at half-time, but there was no stemming the tide of Spanish attacks.

A long-range shot from Iniesta was parried by Given, but fell into Silva's path, who jinked his way around defenders to roll his shot calmly past Given four minutes after the break.

After Given pulled off more heroics to deny Xavi Hernandez's corner shot, Ireland lifted their tempo with a series of attacks as Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas was pressed into service.

The threatened third goal came when Silva released Torres, who raced away from Dunne and slotted home his shot on 70 minutes to give Given no chance before the Spaniard made way for Fabregas four minutes later.

The Barcelona star, who scored the equaliser against Italy, again showed his class as he drilled home his shot from a tight angle for Spain's fourth.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • US renews travel warning to Mindanao
    US renews travel warning to Mindanao

    The US State Department renewed its warning about the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu archipelago, certain regions and cities of Mindanao and the southern Sulu Sea area. In an update on Wednesday of a travel warning it issued Nov. 20, 2014, the State Department said US citizens should continue to defer non-essential travel to the Sulu archipelago due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there. …

  • Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda
    Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda

    The Philippine initiative to put the interests of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) front and center in global and regional trade has made significant progress following the conclusion on Thursday of the 2nd APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM2) and Related Meetings in Boracay, Aklan. Called “The Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs,” the Philippine proposal calls for a host of specific, concrete and practical interventions that APEC economies can implement to provide MSMEs wider …

  • Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week
    Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week

    The Philippines will join a 15-nation meeting in Bangkok, Thailand next week to address the migration crisis involving thousands of Rohingyas who escaped persecution in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima bared this yesterday after meeting with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) representative to the Philippines Bernard Kerblat. In an interview, De Lima said the Philippine government has been invited to the meeting. …

  • Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon
    Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon

    LEGAZPI CITY—A magnitude 4.2 earthquake hit Prieto Diaz town in Sorsogon before dawn yesterday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said. …

  • Drought-resistant rice breeds bared
    Drought-resistant rice breeds bared

    SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija – Amid the searing heat, the Philippine Rice Research Institute central experiment station here has identified nine rice breeds which have been proven to be drought-resistant and produce high yields in temperatures as high as 38°C based on a recent study. Thelma Padolina, lead researcher of the study titled “Screening of rice-induced mutants for heat and drought tolerance,” identified the breeding lines as the Ballatinaw lines, PSB Rc72H and Azucena lines. …

  • Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning
    Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning

    The United States military will continue air and sea patrols in international waters even after the Chinese navy repeatedly warned a US surveillance plane to leave the airspace over artificial islands China is creating in the disputed South China Sea. The Philippine government also declared it would continue activities in the region, calling on China to respect freedom of navigation and aviation. “Our position on the importance of letting freedom of navigation, freedom of aviation and …

  • MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned
    MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned

    Electricity and mobile phone services would be cut throughout Metro Manila, and all private and government offices and businesses, including shopping malls, would be closed. That would be the situation on July 16 between 3 and 8 p.m. to simulate the scenario of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has warned that an earthquake of that magnitude could occur and kill at least 33,500 people and injure at least 113,600 others following a …

  • Subaru XV now priced among sedans
    Subaru XV now priced among sedans

    Motor Image Philipinas (MIP), the authorized distributor of Subaru in the country, has positioned its brand new crossover SUV, the Subaru XV, well within the sedan segment’s price range. This move, according to MIP, was made to give the public an opportunity to experience the brand’s unique automotive technologies by lowering its price. Buyers of […] The post Subaru XV now priced among sedans appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options