Fernando Torres scored four and missed a penalty against the spirited Islanders, who conceded just once in the first half-hour
It's a triumph for Tahiti, ignominy for Spain, who at least get the post-match performance right, as they gallantly commend Tahiti and then leave the pitch to allow the popular underdogs to milk the love of the Maracana. Good humour after the match, total belligerence during it, is how it should be.
There will be two more minutes. Still time for Spain to beat their record ...
Navas, who has made a big difference in the second thanks to good old-fashioned wing play, races down the right and crosses for his new Man City team-mate, who spins and shoots into the net from 16 yards. Spain approaching par.
Meanwhile, back in the real word ...
Tahiti remain determined to try to pilfer a goal on the break .. and they came commendably close to creating a chance just now, only to be denied by a spoilsport offside flag. Moments later Tehau races into the box in pursuit of a raking ball ... and then hurls himself to the ground with a hilarious dive! But the ref isn't allowed reward top comedy with penalties so has to wave play on, much to the crowd's chagrin.
Spain are desperate to save face. Azpilicueta blems the ball down the line to Navas, who crosses towards Torres and Villa but it's diverted behind for a corner, which Tahiti defend well.
Torres makes amends of sorts by latching on to a through-ball and rounding Roche to roll into the net.
Aitami inadvertently handled the ball when trying to block a cross from Navas. Torres manfully accepts penalty-taking duty ... then blazes his shot against the bar and over! Roche exults! Oh Fernando!
Good substitution this from Del Boque: Cazorla off, Iniesta on. The manager clearly knows that anything less than double figures would be a disgrace.
Lovely ball over the top from Fabregas to Torres, who guides his header ... just wide.
Tahiti change: Vero on, Lemaire off.
Another Cazorla shot trickles well wide of the target.
Villa curls the freekick over the wall and towards the bottom corner. Roche dives to his right to parry it, then jumps out and savours the acclaim from the crowd.
Cazorla tries a swirler from the edge of the box but crashes it into a defender. Moments later he's fouled on the edge of the area, giving Spain a dangerous freekick. But before that can be taken there will be two changes: Fabregas coming on for Mata, while Bourebare trots off for Tahiti. to be repalced by L Tehau.
This is edging towards respectable by Spain. Mata tried a one-two with Silva and got a bit of luck when a defender unwittingly played it back into him, whereupon he slotted low into the net from 12 yards. "Crush Tahiti, they deserve it," bellows Daniel Schulwolf. "In their first match of the 2012 OFC Nations Cup, Tahiti embarrassed Samoa 10-1. Lorenzo Tehau scored 4 in that game. To put the rampant Tahitians in their place, Spain should be obligated to win by at least 9, and should do so while scoring 11 or more. Furthermore, Torres must regard anything less than 5 goals a failure. Lots of work still to do."
Oh dear. That's a basic blunder by Roche, who came out to try to intercept a through-ball but missed it, allowing Villa to roll the ball into an empty net. Torres wanders over to commiserate with the keeper. Hmmn.
Ludivion astutely intercepts a pass from Mata - who hasn't been too hot tonight - but Tahiti's attempted counter-attack breaks down. However, as Spain try to take advantage, the minnows' defence for once times their offside trap correctly and catches out Villa and Torres.
Navas has moxy. He mercilessly skins two men down the right and pings the ball to the edge of the six-yard box ... just an inch too far behind Silva, who couldn't get it under control to convert.
That's the stuff! Spain pierce Tahiti with style before Navas squares to Torres to slam home from 15 yards. Encore!
Villa curls one wide from the edge of the area.
Navaes has certainly shown his running power since coming on. The latest example came a moment ago when he dashed down the right and centred for Villa, who couldn't get it under control. The ball broke to Torres, who shot on the turn from 16 yards. Easy save for the keeper.
Tahiti change: A Taheu off; his cousin T Tehau on. "I still reckon Uruguay will be the team to destroy Tahiti," storms Ben Clatworthy. "They have better strikers and are a better team than Nigeria, so they will be the team to fulfill your bloodlust!" I certainly can't see Luis Suarez passing up the opportunity to pillage. Now there's a proper warrior.
Good play by Spain to pick their way through the massed Tahitian defence before Monreal fires a low pass across the face of goal, where Villa arrives to convert.
Silva floats a freekick across from the right. Roche ambles out to collect with no interference from attackers.
Attacking substitution by Spain: Ramos off, Navas on. "I don't quite get all this fuss over Spain playing so badly in the first half," wibbles Paul Holland. "I think it must stem from all this silly talk of world record scores. I was just looking at the FIFA rankings, Tahiti are ranked 138 (there are some 70-odd teams worse than them), and they are only ranked 22 places behind Northern Ireland, so let's get some perspective here, they're not great, but they ain't that bad either. Add in the fact that there's no real incentive for Spain to stretch themselves and they perhaps understandably are just going through the motions. Tahiti tired badly towards the end against Nigeria so I'd still expect Spain to rack up a few more in the second half without too much more effort." You're right about Spain probably racking up more in the second half but you are wrong about everything else. Tahiti are that bad - they're defending is utterly chaotic - and Spain not feeling any incentive to batter them is precisely the problem: where's the bloodlust? They actually seem frazzled by the pressure to score, as opposed to delighted by the chance to bag 50.
Tahiti have been admirable but Spain have been soft. This is why they are still an unsatisfying team despite being clearly the best in the world. Sort it out in the second half, los bottlers! "Shocking first half by Cazorla<" gasps JR in Illinois. "He's looking like a Tahiti player that got stuck into Spain's team. Also, how could there only be one added minute?! The Tahitian keeper was down for at least three minutes."
Villa darts into the box and then clips the ball across to Mata, who goes for the acrobatic volley ... and balloons the ball into the stand.
"Oooooooooh!" go the crowd as a wayward cross from Chong Hue forces Reina into a catch!
To the sort of tremendous applause that used to greet Patricia the Stripper, Santi Cazorla is booked for a trip on Chong Hue.
There's no sense of urgency from Spain here, no craving to crush the opposition. They're slowing the play down now, seemingly content to wander through to half-time. Unacceptable. Rob Marriott is right when he scribbles thusly: "Is there anyone, anyone at all, who wouldn't be happier if this was Germany playing Tahiti? You know what you'd get with Germany, a manic coupling of ruthlessness and exuberance. It would be brilliant. Admittedly, it would also be a bit heartbreaking for poor Tahiti, but still, Germany, if only, if only."
Spain have found their bottle, aided by madcap defending that left Spain with a four-on-one break. Silva duly slid the ball into the path of Villa, who slotted into the net from 14 yards. "From the sound of the term 'tiki-taka' , it has to have Polynesian roots and should be served as a drink with one of these little paper umbrellas," chirps Michael Hood.
Now Spain are getting plenty of players into the box ... and they should have nabbed a fourth goal, as Villa took down a cross from Azpilicueta and then drove his shot into the sidentting.
Roche hares off his line and pounces at the feet of Villa, smothering the ball bravely.
Vahirua sends an out-swinging corner into the six-yard box, where Ludivion and Martinez jump for it ... and the ball bounces clear.
Torres' golden boot campaign is up and running now, thanks to gung-ho defending, which allowed Spain to infiltrate a very high line and send Torres scampering clear. This time Roche's crooked run out of the goal made eliminating the keeper easy, so Torres did so and tapped into the net.
That's more like it. A canny ball from Villa dissected the Tahitian defence and left Silva with the task of slotting past Roche from 15 yards, which he duly did.
Oh Torres! The £50m man striker was sent racing clear towards the box. He could have done absolutely anything but clearly lacked the confidence to convert the great chance himself so tried to play in Villa ... but botched the pass.
Villa pulls the ball back from the by-line to Cazorla, who takes it on his chest and volleys through a throng from 16 yards. Roche parries but there are no Spaniards on hand to snaffle the rebound.
Mata delivers a freekick from the right. Albiol meets it at the back stick and tries to head it across the goal but J Tehau blocks. "At least Ramos has the decency to vehemently argue every time the ref blows against Spain. #Respect to Tahiti." toots Moyukh Purkayastha
The on-screen statistics show that Spain have had a paltry 67% possession (and not much of that in a dangerous area). At this point Tahiti are not only embarrassing Spain but most of the world champions' opponents over the last decade or so.
Chong Hue enraptures the crowd by dashing 50 yards forward and drawing a foul to win a freekick about 25 yards out. As the crowd's anticipation reaches fever pitch, Vahirua bangs the set-piece into the wall.
A left-foot volley by Torres from the edge of the area bounces into the arms of Roche. "From what saw in the last game, giving up six goals to Nigeria meant nothing compared to the reaction when they scored their only goal of the match," yelps Paulo Padhilha. "I think the celebrations for that goal did more for their self-esteem than any damage limitation could have." My point exactly, and at this rate you wouldn't rule them out of scoring another one here. Got to test Reina at least...
Azpilicueta curls in a cross from the right. Roche punches clear and Tahiti romp forward again, before Monreal clumps Chong Hue to the ground in frustration.
After a rub-down with the magic sponge, goalkeeper Roche is able to continue. The Spanish physio should douse his players with a similar sort of elixir because they've played like wusses so far.
Silva slips a nice ball through to the overlapping Azpilicueta, who fires low and hard towards Torres, who is beaten to the ball by Roche, who thus redeems himself for his error on the goal. Mind you, if Torres had a bit more gumption he'd have put that away.
Spain = los bottlers.
Tahiti continue to probe in opposition territory. Spain's embarssment deepens. "San Marino, Faeroe Islands, Liechtenstein et al should be made to sit down and watch Tahiti very carefully," urges Matt Dony. "All international teams have a right to play, and I'm glad they're involved in European and World Cup qualifying groups, but, c'mon! Have a go! Tahiti launch free kicks for forwards to run on to. They bleedin' well make something of the possession they get! Still want to see Torres fill his boots, though." True enough. So-called "damage limitation" exercises actually do more harm than good to a country's self-esteem.
A break by Tahiti! The crowd are buoyant, absolutely willing Chong Hue to out-pace Azpilicueta and get off a shot! The forward goes down in the box .... the throng bay for a penalty .... but the ref is no populist and correctly waves play on.
Villa receives a pass from deep and flicks it on to Torres, who scampers into the box and then dinks the ball wide. "You were a bit harsh on the goalkeeper there. in my opinion," gabbles Brad McMillan. "That was a great example of 'the eyes' by Torres, and a super finish, to boot. I think there are a few world class 'keepers who would've been beaten there." Balderdash: any keeper beaten by such an elementary ruse is by definition not world class.
Vahirua - a lovely player when he was in Ligue 1 - glides past one player down the left and is then fouled by Azpiliceuta, earning a freekick out by the touchline. Spain, would you believe, are looking nervy.
Tahiti are certainly game. They've brazenly pinched the ball off Spain on several occasions and attempted to break forward: if they get a goal here it'll be a major triumph. Even a shot would be a a fine feat.
Well that is abysmal goalkeeping by anyone's standards. Torres swapped passes with a team-mate (Mata?) and then sidefooted a low shot from a tight angle .... in at the near post, the keeper having completely lost his bearings and not realised he wasn't covering it.
As Spain circulate the ball slowly, Vallar rushes in to nick it off Silva, bringing a roar of delight from the locals.
No goals yet. This is a minor humiliation for the world champions, who've yet to find their groove.
The Brazilian crowd boo deeply as Spain begin probing. No doubt the locals are rooting for the underdogs. And cheers erupt around the ground when Villa appears to be through on goal but is pulled back for offside!
The Tahitians look endearingly relaxed, smiling and congratulating each other for being here. Don't fall for it, Spain, just trounce them.
The Tahitian players are wearing some manner of daisy chain around their necks, then take them off to offer them to the Spanish players along with a handshake. Don't accept them! Throw them back in their face! Remember Spain: you are here to DESTROY. Stop smiling: show proper teeth. ' sake.
Out saunter the teams for the formalities before the game. Spain stand for their national anthem - NO! That is setting entirely the wrong tone: they should have stomped into the arena to the sound of Darth Vader's Imperial March - a prelude to the demonstration of force they are about to unleash.
Spain: Reina; Azpilicueta, Albiol, Ramos, Monreal; Cazorla, Martinez, Silva, Mata; Torres, Villa
Subs: Casillas, Pique, Iniesta, Xavi, Fabregas, Pedro, Soldado,
Busquets, Arbeloa, Jordi Alba, Jesus Navas, Valdes.
Tahiti: Roche; A Tehau, Vahirua, Ludivion, Caroine, Bourebare, Vallar, Lemaire, Chongue Hue, Aitami; J Tehau
Subs: Meriel, Wagemann, Faatiarau, Teaonui Tehau, Atani, Aroita,
Lorenzo Tehau, Tihoni, Simon, Vero, Hnanyine, Samin
So, as expected, Spain name their second string, i.e. the one with all their Premier league players.
Tis a rum thing, but a non-contest in an insignificant tournament is set to become the defining match of Spain's era of footballing supremacy. How the relentless Iberian ball-hogs beat Tahiti tonight will go a long way towards determining how they are remembered. Dish out a callously over-the-top battering and Spain may finally gain universal love; but amble to a modest 6-0 victory and they will confirm the view that, for all their success and technical virtuosity, Spain lack primitive moxy, preferring to perform prim surgical neutralisations than rampant bloody slaughters.
Too often Spain come across as a team of artists with the souls of bureaucrats, extravagantly gifted but somehow joyless and risk-averse. They always impress us; only occasionally do they make the earth move. They need to get n@ked and dirty. Spain's jersey may feature a gold star but the suspicion lingers that underneath they are wearing a pin-stripe suit. A savage massacre of Tahiti would make them a hell of a lot more seemly.
Not only must Spain seek to outdo their own existing record competitive win (13-0 v Bulgaria) but they must sincerely strive to better Australia's world record 31-0 defeat of American Samoa. They must hunt goals with their trademark skill and precision but, most of all, with utter brutality, preferably celebrating each one like it was the decisive blow in a war of conquest, hurtling Adebayor-style across the pitch to bellow obnoxiously in front of the Tahitian bench, venting pure sporting hatred for Tahiti manager Eddy Etaeta and his contemptible pre-game suggestion that: "Spain are not here to give us a beating, they will be respectful toward a team of amateurs."
Sod that! We want to see to what extreme the best team in the world can push their abilities, not how restrained they can be. Save the chivalry for real life. "The best way to respect an opponent is to play as well as you possibly can and never let up or relax," Andrés Iniesta righteously roared ahead of a game that he probably will not play in, but in which Fernando Torres should lay claim to another golden boot, adding a layer of ruthless farce to the entertainment. Tee-hee-hee!