Jun 23, 2014 at 5pm UK at ​Arena de Baixada, Curitiba
FT(HT: 0-1)
Villa (36'), Torres (69'), Mata (82')
Ramos (62')

Match Analysis: Australia 0-3 Spain

Match Analysis: Australia 0-3 Spain
© Getty Images
Sports Mole dissects the action as Spain end their World Cup Group B campaign with a 3-0 win over Australia, who finish bottom of the group.

Spain ended their World Cup Group B campaign with a 3-0 win over Australia on Monday.

Both sides had already been eliminated from the competition after losing their opening two group games, but Spain ended on a positive note following goals from David Villa, Fernando Torres and Juan Mata.

Here, Sports Mole dissects the 90 minutes of action between the two Group B rivals.

Match statistics

Shots: 4
On target: 0
Possession: 44%
Corners: 2
Fouls: 14

Shots: 10
On target: 8
Possession: 56%
Corners: 6
Fouls: 9

Was the result fair?

In truth, for long periods, the match looked exactly like what it was - a fixture where neither side had much to play for having already been eliminated from the tournament. Spain controlled the majority of the encounter, however, and certainly deserved to run out comfortable winners. Australia had their moments, especially in the first period, but it was a tired performance from Ange Posteoglou's side, who gave so much in their opening two games of the competition. Neither side created too much in general play, but Spain took control in the latter stages.

Australia's performance

It has been a successful World Cup for Australia despite their three defeats, but this match was ultimately one match too far. In fairness, they matched Spain for long periods of the first period despite trailing at the interval and indeed restricted La Roja to minimal chances in the early stages of the second half. However, tiredness set in as the fixture advanced and it might have been five or six had the clash lasted another 10 minutes.

The Socceroos seriously missed the presence of the suspended Tim Cahill in attack, meanwhile, with neither Adam Taggart nor Ben Halloran having the desired impact. The fact that they did not manage a single attempt on target is a clear indication of their troubles, while they were also poor defensively, especially in the latter stages. Australia can leave the competition proud of their efforts, however, following a strong showing in arguably the toughest group of this summer's tournament.

Spain's performance

Spain boss Vicente del Bosque promised changes to his XI following the disappointment of the first two matches and that was indeed the case, with the likes of Pepe Reina, Juanfran, Raul Albiol, Koke and Santi Cazorla among those coming into the team. Torres and Villa were also given starts in attack and both justified their selection with smart finishes. A 3-0 scoreline points to a comfortable afternoon for the European and world champions and that was indeed the case, with their back four largely untroubled. A three-goal separation is perhaps slightly harsh on Australia, however, with Spain only really taking control in the latter stages.

It promises to be a summer of change for La Roja, who must now focus their attention on qualifying for the European Championships in 2016. Talk of 'the end of an era' is slightly premature, however, with Spain boasting a number of talented youngsters.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Andres Iniesta: It has been a desperately poor tournament for the Spanish, but Andres Iniesta is a player that has once more emerged with great credit. The Barcelona midfielder was quite simply the best player on the pitch in this match as he controlled the tempo from a deep position. It was his pass that set up Juanfran - who eventually found Villa - for the first goal, while Iniesta also found Torres with a wonderful pass for Spain's second. Changes need to occur after this tournament, but Iniesta must remain central to La Roja's plans.

Biggest gaffe

There is not one particular moment that stands out, but both teams were guilty of allowing the match to pass them by, especially in the early stages of the second period. For long spells, it was almost like a training game, with boos present in the crowd as the tempo continued to drop. That all changed in the latter stages, however, as Spain made the score more comfortable with Australia showing severe signs of tiredness.

Referee performance

It has been a difficult World Cup for referees thus far, but that was not really the case for Nawaf Shukralla this afternoon. The 37-year-old was not seen for long spells, while he was also prepared to let the match flow in the correct areas. Shukralla did issue three yellow cards, but two of those came in the final minutes as the match became stretched. Neither manager will have had any complaints about his performance.

What next?

Australia: As it stands, Australia's next international fixture is a friendly against Saudi Arabia on September 7.

Spain: La Roja, meanwhile, are due to face France in a friendly on September 3.

Spain pose for a team photo prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Australia and Spain at Arena da Baixada on June 23, 2014
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