Villa's brace helps lift Spain

David Villa (AFP)
David Villa (AFP)

Washington - David Villa has scored twice as Spain defeated El Salvador 2-0 on Saturday in their final World Cup warm-up match before they launch the defence of their title in Brazil.

The Atletico Madrid striker netted a header in the 60th minute and added the clincher in the 87th minute, producing his 57th and 58th career goals for the Spanish national side.

The Spaniards kick-off their World Cup Group B campaign against the Netherlands on Friday in a rematch of the stormy 2010 final they won in South Africa. Spain's other first round opponents are Chile and Australia.

Villa opened the scoring after a pass to Sergio Ramos pulled Salvadoran goalkeeper Derby Carrillo to his left and away from the posts.

Ramos headed the ball back into the heart of the penalty area and Villa nodded it into the unguarded goal.

Villa, who is set to play in Australia later this year before joining a new Major League soccer team in New York next year, made sure of the win three minutes from time.

Spanish striker Diego Costa, who lasted only nine minutes for Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final against Real Madrid due to a right hamstring problem, started and played until the 74th minute with no signs of trouble.

Spain dominated play early on but had nothing to show for it.

A foul by Carrillo set up a fourth-minute penalty for Cesc Fabregas, but the Barcelona striker curled the ball over the crossbar.

Spain time and again pressed the attack early against the Salvadorans, owning the ball more than 80 percent of the first half but unable to score, while the Central American side struggled to even gain possession across the midfield line.

Real Madrid defender Ramos curled a free kick just over the crossbar in the 38th minute.

Spanish goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas rescued Spain in the 49th by grabbing a loose ball in the heart of the penalty area after an errant Spanish backline pass.

Seconds later on a counterattack, Silva charged to the backline but his center was deflected out by defender Alexander Mendoza.

Villa slammed a shot off Carrillo's chest in the 53rd minute and had a dangerous ball deflected over the top in the 58th minute, setting the stage for his opening goal.

Carrillo batted aside a header attempt from point blank range by Costa in the 67th minute while Spanish substitute Sergio Busquets slammed a shot off the crossbar in the 80th.

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