(Sporting Alert) — Fernando Torres scored twice for Spain and the defending champions cruised past Ireland 4-0 in an almost one-sided Euro 2012 Group C contest on Thursday night.
Watch Torres Scores Against Ireland For Spain At Euro
In the other group match, Croatia and Italy played to an exciting 1-1 draw in the first kick-off.
Needing a win, after drawing 1-1 with Italy in it’s first game, Spain got out in front through Chelsea forward Torres, who got the start over Cesc Fabregas.
Torres beat Shay Given in the fourth minute and Spain took the 1-0 lead into the break.
David Silva coolly side-football past Given four minutes into the second to make it 2-0 before Torres grabbed his second and his team’s third in the 70th with a shot into the bottom corner of the goal.
Substitute Fabregas, who also scored against Italy, then blasted past the keeper seven minutes from time to complete the comfortable 4-0 scoring.
In the earlier game, Italy jumped ahead through a fabulously taken free-kick from Andrea Pirlo in the 39th minute.
However, Croatia battled back and got the equaliser from striker Mario Mandzukic, who finished well past Gianluigi Buffon in the 72nd minute.
Spain leads Group C on goal difference, as they and Croatia both have four points.
Italy sits third with two, while Ireland’s tournament is over, following back-to-back defeats.
Spain vs Rep of Ireland
Spain: Casillas, Arbeloa, Pique, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba, Xavi, Busquets, Alonso, Silva, Torres, Iniesta
Subs: Valdes, Albiol, Javi Martinez, Juanfran, Pedro, Fabregas, Negredo, Mata, Llorente, Santi Cazorla, Jesus Navas, Reina
Rep of Ireland: Given, O’Shea, St, Ledger, Dunne, Ward, Duff, Andrews, Whelan, McGeady, Cox, Keane
Subs: Westwood, Doyle, Kelly, McShane, Walters, Gibson, Hunt, O’Dea, Long, Green, McClean, Forde
Referee: Pedro Proenca (Portugal)
Italy vs Croatia
Italy: Buffon, Bonucci, De Rossi, Chiellini, Maggio, Marchisio, Pirlo, Thiago Motta, Giaccherni, Balotelli, Cassano
Subs: Sirigu, Ogbonna Obienza, Balzaretti, Abate, Di Natale, Barzagli, Borini, Montolivo, Giovinco, Diamanti, Nocerino, De Sanctis
Croatia: Pletikosa, Srna, Corluka, Schildenfeld, Strinic, Rakitic, Vukojevic, Modric, Perisic, Jelavic, Mandzukic
Subs: Kelava, Simunic, Buljat, Pranjic, Badelj, Vrsaljko, Dujmovic, Kalinic, Kranjcar, Vida, Eduardo, Subasic
Referee: Howard Webb (England)