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Villa winner puts Spain into last eight

David Villa finished off a move of Spanish perfection to finally break down Portugal’s defensive wall and give the European champions a 1-0 win and spot in the World Cup quarterfinals.

sports Updated: Jun 30, 2010 23:32 IST

David Villa finished off a move of Spanish perfection to finally break down Portugal’s defensive wall and give the European champions a 1-0 win and spot in the World Cup quarterfinals on Tuesday.

Villa scored his fourth goal of the tournament in the 63rd minute, while Cristiano Ronaldo again failed to inspire Portugal.

A trademark Spanish passing move found Andres Iniesta in the center. He flicked the ball through to Xavi Hernandez, who backheeled to Villa charging in on the left.

The Barcelona-bound striker saw his first shot blocked by Portugal goalkeeper Eduardo, but on the rebound, he coolly slotted home with his right foot.

Portugal’s only defensive weakness had been on its right flank, where Ricardo Costa struggled. He was sent off for elbowing Joan Capdevila in the 89th minute, stifling a late Portuguese drive. Spain will now play Paraguay in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

Ronaldo has too much burden, says Queiroz

Magaliesburg: Ronaldo, the world's most expensive footballer, revealed in comments on a website owned by his agent that he felt like a broken man and had never felt such sadness. “I feel a broken man, completely disconsolate, frustrated and an unimaginable sadness,” the 94 million-euro man said in a statement.

However, his emotional comments failed to move coach Carlos Queiroz, who along with Ronaldo was savaged in the Portuguese press on Wednesday. “We are not unaware of those remarks, but we are not here to be friends with the players,” said the 57-year-old Queiroz.

“One must never allow anyone placing himself above the best interests of the national side.

“Portugal needs Ronaldo, and Ronaldo needs the national side. But if this shirt (the Portuguese strip) unnerves some players, they have no grounds to be there.”

Media blames Ronaldo

Portuguese media has blamed Ronaldo. “Ronaldo played one of his worst matches ever for the national side,” commented Correio da Manha.

Publico took the same dim point of view. “Ronaldo missed out completely on this World Cup. Mourinho (the new Real Madrid coach) said that Portugal would not win even if Ronaldo was going at 1000 kilometres an hour. But he (Ronaldo) did not even get near the speed of a cruise ship.”