A goal from David Villa on what could be his final international appearance helped outgoing holders Spain overcome Australia and end their disappointing FIFA World Cup campaign on a winning note.
Villa, who will join Australian A-League outfit Melbourne City after the tournament before linking up with New York City FC in 2015, neatly flicked in the 59th goal of a stellar Spain career nine minutes before half-time. Fernando Torres and Juan Mata gave the scoreline a more resounding look in the second period.
Australia, lacking attacking threat in the absence of the suspended Tim Cahill, failed to test Pepe Reina as a much-changed Spain side signed off with three points in Curitiba.
A first half high on industry was low on goalmouth activity until Villa's moment of magic. The European champions, in their usual methodical style, gradually gained control after a lively opening from the Socceroos, probing through Andrés Iniesta on his 100th appearance for the Roja.
However, they had only managed to extend Matthew Ryan once, through Jordi Alba's angled shot, before their record marksman ended a run of seven Group B goals without reply against Vicente del Bosque's side.
Iniesta was heavily involved, threading a ball inside left-back Jason Davidson for Juanfran to chase. The Club Atlético de Madrid man, one of seven changes to the team beaten 2-0 by Chile last Wednesday, pulled it back from the byline for Villa to exquisitely back heel into the net with his right foot.
Villa departed to a standing ovation ten minutes after the break, moments before Matthew McKay volleyed over Australia's first effort of note. Any hope Ange Postecoglou's men had of gaining a point, though, was extinguished when Torres doubled the lead with 21 minutes remaining, finishing off Iniesta's defence-splitting pass with aplomb.
Mata made it three when he brought down a lofted pass towards the far post from fellow substitute Cesc Fàbregas and slotted a shot through Ryan's legs.
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|1||Matthew Ryan (GK)||23||Pepe Reina (GK)|
|3||Jason Davidson||2||Raúl Albiol|
|7||Matthew Leckie||6||Andrés Iniesta|
|15||Mile Jedinak (C)|
|15||Sergio Ramos (C)|
|19||Ryan McGowan||18||Jordi Alba|
|22||Alex Wilkinson||20||Santi Cazorla|
|12||Mitchell Langerak (GK)||1||Iker Casillas (GK)|
|18||Eugen Galekovic (GK)||12||David de Gea (GK)|
|5||Mark Milligan||3||Gerard Piqué|
|8||Bailey Wright||4||Javi Martínez|
|16||James Holland||11||Pedro Rodríguez|
|20||Dario Vidošić||13||Juan Mata|
|21||Massimo Luongo||16||Sergio Busquets|
|Ange Postecoglou (AUS)||Vicente del Bosque (ESP)|
|Nawaf Shukralla (BHR)|
|Yaser Tulefat (BHR), Ebrahim Saleh (BHR)|
|Norbert Hauata (TAH)|