No savior for El Salvador
© AFP

Amarelle made his much-anticipated debut midway through the first period and looked dangerous, snapping a twenty-five-yard shot after a quick move into space. But it was El Salvador who drew first blood via Augustin Ruiz before Amarelle’s direct-kick got one back for Spain.

Ruiz added another to hand El Salvador the lead for the second time, but just moments later Javier Torres smashed home a stunning, close-range overhead kick to equalize for Spain yet again. Nico added another before Wilber Alvarado showed good patience, sending in dipping shot that slapped off the Spain crossbar.

Cristian Torres went close as he sent a cruise missile goalward after being awarded a free-kick and there were gasps in the stands as it deflected off the post. Israel Gray rose high to head home to give El Salvador an all-too-brief advantage, as, once again, Torres was at the ready to draw his side level.

Goalkeeper Jose Portillo did well to block a direct-kick, but Spain added two goals and looked eager for more. Alvarado was in the wrong place at the wrong time, absorbing an inadvertent knock from an overhead effort from Javier Torres. Little else went right for El Salvador as time ticked down and Torres and his compatriots continued to find the back of the net.

Next up for Spain is an encounter with a disappointed Côte d’Ivoire side that fell victim to Japan’s relentless pressure, a display that could make for a restless night’s sleep for El Salvador.