Football

Del Bosque gambles on injured Costa

Spain coach names injured Costa and Torres in final squad, omits City pair Negredo and Navas

Diego Costa and Fernando Torres have been included in Spain's final squad for the World Cup, but Manchester City pair Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas were left out.

Costa was an injury doubt with a hamstring tear after lasting less than 10 minutes for Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final last Saturday and still faces a race against time to be fit for Spain's first game against Holland on June 13.

Torres endured a tough season for Chelsea, but scored from the spot in the 2-0 friendly win over Bolivia yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The Spanish Football Federation announced yesterday that both strikers had made the cut and were in Vicente del Bosque's final 23-man party for Brazil.

It meant no place for Negredo, who enjoyed a flying start to his City career last term, but tailed off badly towards the end of the season.

Navas was also left disappointed, along with Fernando Llorente (Juventus), Ander Iturraspe (Athletic Bilbao), Alvaro Moreno (Sevilla) and Daniel Carvajal (Real Madrid).

Torres' clubmate Cesar Azpilicueta, Santi Cazorla of Arsenal, Juan Mata and David de Gea of Manchester United and City's David Silva were all included.

Chile and Australia are the other two teams in the defending champions' group.

Torres' inclusion came after he capped an impressive performance with a well-taken penalty against Bolivia.

DOMINATION

In the world and European champions' penultimate warm-up game before they begin the defence of their title in Brazil next month, Torres made the most of his starting place up front and substitute Andres Iniesta was also on target as Spain ruthlessly dominated a defence-minded Bolivia.

The South Americans, who failed to qualify for the World Cup Finals, managed to hold out until half-time before Javi Martinez was bundled over in the penalty area and Torres calmly slotted the spot-kick past Romel Quinonez in the 51st minute.

The Chelsea forward has had an indifferent season with his club, but looked lively in the centre forward role before being replaced by Cesc Fabregas on the hour.

"We have a lot of confidence in him and that's why he is here," Del Bosque said, of Torres.

"We are pleased with how he worked tonight."

Chances were scarce for both sides at Sevilla's Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium, with Azpilicueta striking a long-range effort against the post in the 30th minute and Torres forcing a sharp save from Quinonez shortly before the break.

Iniesta showed his class when he surged forward in the 84th minute and curled a low effort in off the post and Sergio Busquets crashed a long-range drive off the frame of the goal moments later as the home side pressed forward in the final stages.

- Wire Services.


SPAIN'S 23-MAN SQUAD

  • GOALKEEPERS: Iker Casillas, Pepe Reina, David de Gea
  • DEFENDERS: Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Raul Albiol, Cesar Azpilicueta, Juanfran, Jordi Alba
  • MIDFIELDERS: Xavi Hernandez, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas, Santi Cazorla, Koke, Javi Martinez
  • FORWARDS: David Silva, Diego Costa, Fernando Torres, Pedro Rodriguez, Juan Mata, David Villa.