Spain: Casillas; Arbeloa (Raúl Albiol
82'), Puyol, Piqué, Capdevila; Xavi (Fábregas 70'), Busquets,
Xabi Alonso; David Villa, Fernando Torres (Riera 67'), David Silva. 4-3-3.
Belgium: Gillet; Van den Borre, Van Buyten, Simons, Vermaelen; Fellaini, Defour, Vertonghen (Deschacht 30'); Hazard (Mirallas 59'), Sonck (Camargo 70'), Dembele. 4-3-3.
1-0. 40. Silva. Ran on to Villa through ball and struck angled shot across Gillet.
2-0. 48. David Villa. Picked up long Silva pass and drilled low shot inside far post.
3-0. 50. Piqué. Controlled Villa centre and shot wide of keeper on breakaway.
4-0. 69. Silva. Took pass from right and struck long shot in to far corner of net.
5-0. 85. David Villa. Poked shot in to empty net after Fábregas squared across.
Spain are well on the way to an automatic place in next summer's World Cup after thrashing Belgium 5-0 in Deportivo's Riazor stadium. Missing Iniesta, Ramos and Marcos Senna through injury, it took them a bit of time to get going, and at first they came up against Belgium's third choice keeper Gillet, who was making his debut at the age of 30. Gillet kept out David Villa early on and then saved a penalty from the Valencia striker after he was fouled by Van den Borre. Fernando Torres had fired a shot against the bar a few minutes earlier, and it looked as if the first half would end without goals until Silva ran on to a through ball from Villa to open the scoring.
Once the breakthrough was made though, Belgium's defence crumbled. Villa made it two just three minutes after the restart, and two minutes later Piqué came forward on a quick breakaway, controlled Villa's cross, and coolly slotted a shot wide of Gillet. Silva got his side's fourth after picking up an assist from Arbeloa, and Gillet did well to keep out Xabi Alonso and substitute Cesc Fábregás soon afterwards. And with five minutes to go Fábregas beat the offside trap to run through and leave Villa with the easiest of tap-ins, his 33rd goal for his country. Spain have started this season where they left off, and a win against Estonia in Mérida next Wednesday will see them all but mathematically through to the finals.