Fernando Torres scored the fastest hat-trick in FIFA Confederations Cup history as Spain stated their intentions with an emphatic 5-0 win over New Zealand in Rustenburg.
The All Whites' gameplan would doubtless have been to make the opening stages as awkward as possible for their illustrious rivals, but it took just six minutes for the OFC champions to begin searching for Plan B. Some superb midfield interplay teased an opportunity for Torres, who opened his body and curled a superb right-foot shot into the top corner from 20 yards.
It was a reminder, were any needed, of the Liverpool striker's awesome ability, and it took just eight minutes for him add an opportunistic second, slotting home a David Villa cutback from close range. A hat-trick seemed inevitable and, sure enough, Torres soon completed a record-breaking 11-minute treble with his head, bulleting home a drilled left-foot cross from Joan Capdevila.
Spain were toying with the Kiwis by this stage and, after Albert Riera had seen a fizzing low shot brilliantly tipped behind, their lead was duly increased to four with 21 minutes of the first half still remaining. Once again, the All Whites' rearguard was carved open by yet more fantastic pass-and-move football from the European champions, with Riera and Capdevila combining intuitively to tee up Cesc Fabregas for the simplest of tap-ins.
Double figures for Spain looked a genuine danger at this stage, but it was to New Zealand's credit that they steadied as half-time approached and even went close to pulling a goal back when Mulligan forced Iker Casillas into a fine save from a 25-yard free-kick. However, even with La Roja in cruise control in the second half, there was still time for the Kiwis to endure yet more misery, with Villa capitalising on an Andy Boytens mistake to complete the scoring with an instictive first-time finish.