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HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

Football

Soldado winner helps Spain hold off late Uruguay charge
Reuters
Recife, Brazil, June 17, 2013
First Published: 08:25 IST(17/6/2013)
Last Updated: 02:26 IST(18/6/2013)

Goals from Pedro and Roberto Soldado helped Spain to a 2-1 victory over Uruguay in the Confederations Cup in Recife on Sunday and reinforced their position as tournament favourites.

Luis Suárez scored a late consolation for Uruguay but the European champions dominated the game from start to finish and could easily have won by more.

"We were really tired towards the end of the match. When you are playing in temperatures like this it's normal that should happen," the Spain coach Vicente del Bosque said after the game. "We played an excellent first half and I think we also played very well in the second period but we suffered a bit at the end.

"They are three magnificent points which put us in a very good position to get through to the semi-finals."

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The tournament is being used to test Brazil's preparations ahead of the World Cup they host next year and Spain dominated from the outset of their opening match.

Cesc Fábregas, Pedro and Andrés Iniesta all came close in the first quarter of an hour before a 20th minute corner was knocked out of the Uruguay box as far as Pedro whose fierce shot was deflected by Diego Lugano past a helpless Fernando Muslera.

The goal roused Uruguay and they came close with an Edinson Cavani header before Iniesta and Fábregas orchestrated Spain's second with Iniesta dragging defenders one way and Fabregas' instead passed to Soldado who coolly slotted home. Spain relaxed in the second half but still controlled the game and almost scored a third in the 49th minute but Pedro narrowly failed to get a touch on Soldado's cross.

Neither side threatened seriously after that but Uruguay picked up a late consolation when Suárez curled home a free kick two minutes from time.


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