Spain smash Tahiti at Confederations Cup
Spain won by a landslide as expected but tiny Tahiti emerged with their reputations enhanced and their dignity intact despite their 10-0 loss to the world and European champions in the Confederations Cup on Thursday.
Fernando Torres scored four times, and missed a penalty, David Villa hit three, David Silva two and Juan Mata one as Spain scored double figures for the third time in their history.
The outcome of one of the most unlikely matches ever to take place in a senior FIFA competition was never in doubt and even Tahiti coach Eddy Etaeta said before the game his side's chances of winning were "quite impossible".
Despite the hammering, Tahiti played some attractive attacking football against a second-string Spain side that still contained some of the biggest names in European soccer including Juan Mata, Sergio Ramos and Pepe Reina.
Tahiti's first-ever meeting with European opposition was more of an occasion than a match in many respects, and the fans created a superb atmosphere in the newly refurbished Maracana, the venue for next year's World Cup final.
They cheered every Tahiti pass and tackle and roundly booed Spain.
Two of the loudest cheers were for two fine saves made by 20-year-old Tahiti goalkeeper Mikael Roche midway through the second half with his side already 7-0 down.
The first goal arrived after only five minutes when Torres scored in the huge gap which Roche left between himself and the near post.
Tahiti kept Spain at bay for the next 26 minutes and weaved some neat passing moves together with Teheivarii Ludivon providing some of the best distribution for his side.
But they were unable to make any real impact on the Spanish defence apart from a fine angled shot from Ricky Aitamai just before half-time.
By then Spain were already well in control and leading 4-0 with Silva, Torres and Villa all finding the target in an eight-minute spell.
But despite Spain's obvious superiority against the Oceania champions, who are ranked 138th in the world, the amateurs from the South Pacific never stopped trying to play football to the delight of the 71,000-plus crowd.
Spain midfielder Santi Cazorla even earned himself a booking for a clumsy challenge in the first half, which ended with the crowd cheering Tahiti off.
Spain flexed their muscles after the break with Villa adding two more and Torres one in the first 15 minutes of the second half before Mata made it eight when he got a lucky deflection after a one-two with David Silva.
Torres then missed a penalty after 78 minutes, prompted a huge cheer from the crowd, but got his fourth goal and Spain's ninth a minute later when he rounded Roche to score.
Silva made it double figures in the 89th minute after another move that slit open the Tahiti defence.