Spain beat Ukraine 4-0 in Group H

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Spain won its first World Cup Group H match against Ukraine 4-0 in Leipzig, Wednesday.

Luis Aragones might like to play the yellow shirted Ukrainians again because after only one quarter of the match it looked effectively over as a contest. And a red card against the Ukraine team just after half-time helped the red shirts complete the rout with two more goals.

Spain, with only Carles Puyol in the starting line from a team that reached the 2002 World Cup quarter finals, had been unbeaten in 21 matches under Aragones. Spain's superb form showed in a great understanding between players with passes meeting runs all over the pitch.

After four minutes Ukraine's long free kick from the left touchline found Vladimir Yezerskiy, but he could not direct his header toward goal. Ukraine got flagged offside six times in the first period.

Then two goals came in a five minute spell for Spain. On 13 minutes Marcos Senna drove a shot from long range which was tipped over by Oleksandr Shovkovskyi. The result, a corner, was met by a stooping Xabi Alonso at the near post who deflected the ball into the net.

Four minutes later a free kick was awarded against Andriy Rusol 30 yards from goal. The tall, dark-haired Ukrainian number six stood in the wall and promptly received the shot from David Villa on the side of his head. Shovkovskyi, in mid-flight, could not adjust his position to stop the ball going in the net.

Two goals down Ukraine did not get another chance on goal until the second half when substitute Sergi Rebrov shot over on 72 minutes. Illustrating a one-sided game, Spain had 10 shots on target to Ukraine's two.

David Villa, with Luis Garcia and Fernando Torres was one of Spain's three forwards. He got his second goal on 47 minutes when he fired low to Shovkovskyi's right from the penalty spot.

Vladyslav Vashchuk was sent off for his foul on Torres; as the Athletico Madrid striker burst through the Ukrainian defence the referee judged Vaschuk had pulled on the Spainard's shorts.

The first three goals were from still ball set-ups but the brilliance of the fourth showed the team work, movement and accurate passes that characterised the play of the Spainish.

Curly-haired Puyol charged from the half-way line and gave the ball off in field; he ran more and received the ball again near the penalty area; headed into the path of Torres, and the 22-year-old shot right footed past Shovkovskyi.

In the 77th minute 19-year-old Cesc Fabregas was given a substitute appearance in the game. The midfield player became Spain's youngest player to play at a World Cup.

Four goals down, Ukrainian coach Oleg Blokhin was shown on television smiling. He might reflect that Tunisia and Saudia Arabia, the two other teams in Group H, had not been highly touted as potential World Cup winners.


Group H

June 14, 2006
  Spain 4–0   Ukraine Zentralstadion
Alonso 13'
Villa 17' 47' (Pen)
Torres 81'

Attendance: 43'000

Referee: Massimo Busacca (Switzerland)   


  • 01 I Casillas
  • 03 M Pernia
  • 05 C Puyol
  • 15 G Sergio Ramos
  • 22 I Pablo
  • 08 H Xavi
  • 14 X Alonso (Substituted: 55' D Albelda)
  • 16 M Senna
  • 11 S Luis Garcia (Substituted: 77' Cesc Fabregas)
  • 21 D Villa (Substituted: 55' G Raul)
  • 09 F Torres


  • 01 O Shovkovskiy
  • 02 A Nesmachniy
  • 05 V Yezerskiy 53'  
  • 06 A Rusol 17'  
  • 17 V Vashchuk 47'  
  • 04 A Tymoschuk
  • 09 O Gusev (Substituted: 45 O Shelayev)
  • 14 A Gusin (Substituted: 45' A Vorobey)
  • 21 R Rotan (Substituted: 64' S Rebrov)
  • 07 A Shevchenko
  • 10 A Voronin

Saudi Arabia and Tunisia share dramatic draw in Group H


This article is about the 2006 World Cup; for more World Cup news visit the World Cup portal.