Pedro took his goal tally in his last five internationals to seven when
an under-strength Spain side thumped Panama 5-1 in a one-sided friendly
on Wednesday to end the year unbeaten in 16 matches.
world and European champions eased into a 3-0 half-time lead in sultry
Panama City thanks to Pedro's double and a goal from record scorer and
stand-in captain David Villa, his 53rd on his 85th appearance for his
Playing their final
match of 2012 and without rested midfield stalwarts Xavi and Xabi
Alonso, Vicente del Bosque's side missed a host of chances before
substitute Sergio Ramos curled in a superb free-kick in the 82nd minute.
Navas fed Markel Susaeta to score on his debut from close range two
minutes later and the boisterous home fans were rewarded when Gabriel
Gomez cheekily beat Iker Casillas with a chipped penalty three minutes
between order and talent gave us the edge," Del Bosque told a news
conference. "We took the game seriously, with a certain level of
commitment, and our domination of the ball did not allow them many
"We could have scored more goals in the second half but we made it easy for ourselves."
match at the Rommel Fernandez Stadium between the world's number one
nation and 46th-ranked Panama seemed at times like a training match for
the laid-back Spanish and Del Bosque was able to try out a couple of
players who are on the fringes of the squad.
started with Benat Etxebarria in a creative central role but the Real
Betis midfielder was disappointingly wayward with his passing, while
Athletic Bilbao midfielder Susaeta fluffed a close-range volley that he
should have put away with ease.
who scored a hat-trick against Belarus in a World Cup qualifier last
month, exchanged passes with his Barcelona team mate Andres Iniesta to
carve open the home defence for his opening goal in the 16th minute.
danced into the penalty area to set up Villa, another Barca player, in
the 29th and Juan Mata sent Pedro clear for his second and Spain's third
two minutes before half-time.
Del Bosque replaced Pedro, Iniesta and Mata with Roberto Soldado, Cesc Fabregas and Jesus Navas at the break.
and Soldado drew sharp saves from home goalkeeper Jaime Penedo early in
the second half and Navas struck an angled shot against a post in the
initially as if Fabregas was going to take the free-kick that led to
Spain's fourth but Ramos ran up and sent the ball arrowing past Penedo
into the top corner.
turned in a Navas cross to make it 5-0 before Benat tripped Nelson
Barahona in the area and Gomez outfoxed Casillas, who had come on for
Victor Valdes a few minutes earlier, with a delicate chip down the
middle of the goal as the Real Madrid keeper dived away to his right.
"We played well, it was a good spectacle and we are returning to Spain feeling content," Mata told reporters.
are still in with a chance of qualifying for the World Cup and the
weather conditions were not the best for us but we performed well," the
Chelsea midfielder added.
latest victory means they end 2012 with 13 wins and three draws,
including the semi-final of Euro 2012 when their match against Portugal
finished 0-0 after extra time and Spain went through to the final after a
World Cup qualification Group I on goal difference from France and their
next qualifier is at home to Finland on March 22.
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