Late Silva goal settles Spain
David Silva scored an 86th-minute winner as Spain returned to winning ways with victory over Colombia in Madrid. Silva slotted home a left-footed shot into the bottom-right corner of the goal from Jesus Navas' right-wing cross.
Spain's David Villa had come closest to breaking the deadlock when he hit the post after a quarter of an hour as Spain continued to struggle after they ended 2010 on a negative note with defeats by Portugal and Argentina until Silva's intervention. Fernando Llorente also went close for the world champions with Abel Aguilar and Pablo Armero threatening for the South Americans.
Vicente del Bosque started with Villa and Pedro up front with Chelsea's new £50m signing Fernando Torres on the bench. Xavi and Andres Iniesta led the midfield but it was the visitors who enjoyed the first meaningful attack when Aguilar had his close-range shot blocked by Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
Two minutes later and Villa almost put the hosts ahead when his shot from the centre of the area hit the post before the Barcelona striker put his rebound wide. Villa put a free-kick over and Iniesta's 20-yard shot was comfortably held by Colombia keeper David Ospina before Pablo Armero almost put Colombia ahead on the stroke of half-time but his shot went wide.
Torres replaced Villa ten minutes into the second half but the former Liverpool striker made little impact, putting a header wide from Xabi Alonso's cross.
Both sides continued to attack, Juan Cuadrado, Santi Cazorla and Hugo Rodallega all shooting wide for Colombia before Silva intervened four minutes from time. Llorente came close to doubling the lead when he fired in a right-footed shot from the centre of the penalty area which was parried by Ospina in the Colombia goal.
"Colombia was very well organised, they did not let us play as we would like... But we can't complain, the (Spanish) players put in a lot of effort,” said Spain coach Vicente del Bosque. “We must give credit to our opponents."
His Colombian counterpart, Hernan Dario Gomez, said his team "had to be very organised... And sometimes it worked. But it is tiring to play football when you don't have the ball."