Football

Confederations Cup 2013: Spain secure convincing win over Uruguay

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Spain produced another dominant performance (©GettyImages)
Spain produced another dominant performance (©GettyImages).

Spain, the most successful side in modern-day international football, began their pursuit of the only trophy available to them that they have not yet won in the form of this year's Confederations Cup in Brazil.

La Roja took on Uruguay, the champions of South America, in the most highly-anticipated game of the first round of matches, and ran out comfortable 2-1 winners in a near flawless performance.

As the football world has come to expect, every time the Spanish national team steps onto the pitch, they dominate the ball for long periods, suffocating their opponents to death with their beautiful tiki-taka brand of football. Sunday night's game was no different.

Uruguay struggled to find their rhythm early on, conceding 92% of possession in the first 15 minutes. While the South American outfit did improve upon those possession stats slightly, they never looked like troubling a very strong Spanish side.

It seemed like only a matter of time until Spain took the lead and they did so in the 20th minute through a heavily deflected, long range drive from Pedro Rodriguez. It was the Barcelona youngster's seventh goal in his last eight internationals.

A second came for La Roja not long after as Roberto Soldado neatly finished off a beautiful passing move for La Roja by lifting the ball over the despairing dive of Uruguay keeper Fernando Muslera.

The second half saw a much slower tempo to the game as the Spanish continued to retain the ball for long periods, forcing the Uruguayans to run themselves ragged to find a route back into the match. Several offensive substitutions by Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez forced the opposition back, but made little difference to the pattern of play.

Despite the one sided nature of the game, La Celeste were able to get on the scoresheet in the 88th minute thanks to a stunning free-kick by controversial Liverpool man, Luis Suarez.

Fully 35 yards out, standing over a dead ball that may be considered a good crossing position, Suarez whipped the ball up and over the red wall in front of him and into the top corner past Spanish No. 1, Iker Casillas.

With only two minutes plus injury time left of the game, what may have been a tense finish for some teams passed with no scares for the reigning world champions as Casillas was only called upon once in that time to deal with a relatively simple cross.

The Spanish, after dispatching this very strong Uruguay team, will seemingly be the team to beat in the 2013 Confederations Cup. Their team today was composed of 10 players from Real Madrid and Barcelona, two teams that compete at the elite level of European competition year after year and boast a bench full of players like Juan Mata, Santi Cazorla and David Silva, who would be first choice picks in any other international side.

While their strength in depth is an impressive asset, the cohesion and seemingly telepathic understanding the team shows both in maintaining possession and hunting down the ball on the rare occasion they don't have it is what sets them apart from other international sides that have just as many big name players. 

 

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Topics:
Internationals
Luis Suarez
Football
Spain Football
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