Spain have provided an awesome statement of intent in their Turkey 2013 opener with a stylish 4-1 victory over USA at Istanbul’s Ali Sami Yen Arena.
Gerard Deulofeu and Jese each scored a brace as the European champions moved to the top of Group A, edging ahead of France - 3-1 winners over Ghana in the section’s earlier match - on goal difference. The Spanish were in irresistible form and, for the US, the writing was on the wall from as early as the fifth minute.
That was when Jese began the rout, heading home a pinpoint cross from the outstanding Deulofeu. Having set up the first goal, the Barcelona forward then scored a brilliant second, stepping in from the left flank and curling a fantastic right-foot shot beyond the helpless Cody Cropper and just inside the right-hand post.
Just three minutes remained until half-time but USA could not make it to the break without conceding again. On this occasion, it was right-back Javier Manquillo who provided the ammunition, dribbling into the box and squaring for Jese, who was once again deadly in his finishing.
USA coach Tab Ramos rang the changes at half-time, bringing on Joaquin Hernandez in an attempt to stem the Spanish tide. But it was to no avail. Within 15 minutes of the restart, Deulofeu capped a superb individual display with his second and La Rojita’s fourth, racing through, skipping round Cropper and slotting into the unguarded goal from an acute angle.
The European champions had provided a masterclass, but they were to be denied a clean sheet by a spectacular strike from Luis Gil. Twisting and turning to work some space for himself 25 yards from goal, the Real Salt Lake forward provided an early candidate for goal of the tournament with a stunning left-foot shot into the top right-hand corner.
USA will hope for more of that kind of brilliance when they go up against France on Monday, while Spain's next test comes later the same day against Ghana.