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Spain saunter to success in Panama

Thursday 15 November 2012 9.01 CET
Pedro Rodríguez scored twice in Panama City

An under-strength Spain side proved far too strong for Panama, with Pedro Rodríguez scoring twice in a 5-1 friendly win as the world and European champions stretched their unbeaten run to 16 games this year. 

Pedro's double, supplemented by stand-in captain David Villa's 53rd international goal, made it 3-0 by half-time in Panama City, and Vicente del Bosque's team continued to create chances after the break despite the absence of rested duo Xavi Hernández and Xabi Alonso. However, it took until the 81st minute for substitute Sergio Ramos to notch a fourth with a well-flighted free-kick, before Markel Susaeta added another on his debut. Panama pulled one back from the spot three minutes from the end.

Pedro exchanged passes with FC Barcelona team-mate Andrés Iniesta to carve open the home defence for the breakthrough goal in the 16th minute. Iniesta then set up Villa's effort on 29 minutes, while Juan Mata sent Pedro clear for his second and Spain's third two minutes before half-time. Del Bosque replaced Pedro, Iniesta and Mata with Roberto Soldado, Cesc Fàbregas and Jesús Navas at the interval.

Navas and Soldado drew sharp saves from goalkeeper Jaime Penedo early in the second half and Navas struck an angled shot against a post, but it was Ramos who was next on the scoresheet. The Real Madrid CF full-back arrowed a free-kick past Penedo, before Susaeta turned in a Navas cross. Gabriel Gómez finally drew a cheer from the home crowd at the death, holding his nerve to chip his penalty past Iker Casillas.

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