Spain: Casillas; Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos,
Piqué, Jordi Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Xabi Alonso (Javi Martínez
65'); Iniesta (Cazorla 80'), Fernando Torres (Fàbregas 73'), David
Ireland: Given; O'Shea, St. Ledger, Dunne, Ward; Duff (McClean 76'), Andrews, Whelan (Green 80'), McGeady; Cox (Walters 46'), Keane. 4-4-2.
1-0. 04. Fernando Torres. Picked up loose ball in area and rounded Ward to score.
2-0. 49. Silva. Steered shot through defenders' legs after Given saved from Torres.
3-0. 70. Fernando Torres. Ran on to Silva through ball and fired shot past Given.
4-0. 83. Fàbregas. Picked up Silva corner and rounded marker to shoot in off post.
Spain are top of their group after beating Ireland 4-0 in their second group game! Del Bosque only made one change to his line-up, bringing in Fernando Torres up front, and within four minutes the Chelsea striker had his name on the scoresheet after getting ahead of a hesitant defence to pick up a loose ball and fire a shot in to the net. With Italy and Croatia drawing earlier in the evening though Spain needed more goals to boost their goal difference, and Torres shot just wide minutes later. Given had to be at his best to keep out Piqué, Iniesta and Xavi, and Silva also headed a good chance over the top.
Just three minutes after the restart though Given could only punch out a shot from Torres, and Silva collected the rebound and threaded a shot under a crowd of legs in to the net. The Irish keeper did well to get a hand to Iniesta's shot minutes later, but he could do nothing a few minutes later when Torres ran on to Silva's through ball to score his own second and his sde's third of the game. Soon afterwards Keane tested Casillas as Ireland looked to at least get something out of the match, but substitute Fàbregas wrapped things up near the end after picking up Silva's short corner and turning past his marker before firing an angled shot in off the far post.
The result was Spain's best ever in a final tournament, and it gives them the edge over Croatia if they should draw their last game against the East Europeans. The Irish are the first team to say goodbye to the tournament, although you would hardly believe it as their fans out-sang their opponents right down to the final whistle.