Vicente Del Bosques' Spain side showed possible weakness on Friday evening, ahead of the Confederations Cup, narrowly beating resilient opponent Haiti in an international friendly played in sunny Florida.
Goals from Santi Cazorla and Cesc Fabregas were enough to wrap up a slim win for the reigning European and world champion, with Donald Guerrier grabbing a historic goal for the Haitian minnows.
It didn't take long for Spain to assert dominance, merely eight minutes in fact. After patient buildup play, Santi Cazorla was given far too much space and the Arsenal midfielder didn't hesitate, blasting a left-footed effort into the bottom corner past a sprawling Frandy Montrevil.
Just before the 20 minute mark, the Spaniards were celebrating once more, as Cesc Fabregas doubled his side's advantage. A wondrous chipped through ball from Juan Mata found Fabregas unmarked in the Haiti penalty area, allowed for the Barca man to nod the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper and into the net.
Haiti wasn't to play out a toothless game however, as Kervens Belfort fired a snapshot narrowly wide of Iker Casillas' post, but the Real Madrid shot stopper's walk to collect the ball proved to be one of his only first half duties.
Despite changes at the break, Spain predictably continued along the same vein of domination in the second half. Sony gave indication of a Haiti comeback however, as he raced through on goal on 52 minutes, but could only stab the ball wide of the post.
The post was to be Soldado's nemesis for the second half, as the inside of the woodwork denied the Spain striker on 70 minutes. After great work down the left from Andres Iniesta to set the ball square, Soldado could only hit the post when it looked easier to score.
The third goal however, was to be a historic one. After bursting through the Spanish lines and rounding Pepe Reina composedly, Donald Guerrier steered the ball into an unguarded net from eight yards to spark pandemonium in the stands. With 15 minutes left on the clock, the minnows clawed themselves back into the game.
Though the game looked to have turned on it's head, Soldado's luck proved consistent, as Valencia's top scorer struck the post yet again, after a fantastic chipped cross from Cazorla. Montrevil was completely beaten, but Soldado saw his effort cannon back off the woodwork.
Haiti wasn't satisfied with one goal however, as the team in blue pushed on in search of an equalizer on 78 minutes, but a block from Azpilicueta denied Guerrier from grabbing his second. Monuma was then on hand to dispossess Soldado from three yards out, as the Spanish striker continued to rue his luck.
The dream comeback wasn't to materialise however, as Haiti couldn't unluck the Spanish defense to find a second goal, and time petered out for the plucky minnows.
An efficient performance in terms of possession and creation for Spain, but Haiti has every reason to take heart from the performances, as it pushed the world champions every inch of the way. Spain's Confederations Cup opponents just might find it fallible.
- Sports & Recreation
- Cesc Fabregas
- Santi Cazorla