By Lisa Flueckiger, Contributing Reporter
RECIFE, BRAZIL – In the first Confederations Cup match for both teams, world and European champion Spain showed their class against a spirited Uruguayan side. The lively game in Recife’s Arena Pernambuco ended in a 2-1 victory for the Spaniards.
La furia roja (the red fury), as the Spanish team is known, demonstrated in Recife why they won the last World Cup, the European Cup and why they are a hot favorite for next year’s World Cup. With over seventy percent of ball possession during the entire game, the Spaniards left their opponents hardly any chance to build up their game.
The heavy rain that had struck Recife’s Arena Pernambuco before the game and during the first minutes did not keep Spain from playing their high intensity tiki-taka game. It was not long before they showed up dangerously before Uruguayan goalkeeper, Muslera, but Roberto Soldado missed the ball by mere inches.
However, after twenty minutes and an unlucky deflection from an Uruguayan defender, Pedro netted the first goal for Spain with a hit from around twenty meters.
Uruguay, who surprisingly started without their top scorer, Diego Forlán, had a hard time throughout the game, facing difficulties in its attempts to make the most out of their scarce ball possession. It took them almost thirty minutes to reach Napoli’s Edison Cavani’s first real chance to score.
Uruguay’s attempts were not rewarded as Soldado moved to score the second goal. The only player on the Spanish side who was not from either Barcelona or Real Madrid, received a great pass from Cesc Fabregas and found himself practically alone in front of the goal.
The second half was marked by a slightly more aggressive Uruguay, fighting harder for the ball. This intensity resulted in fouls and free kicks.
In the last few minutes, Uruguay’s Luis Suárez found the net with a spectacular free kick, which reduced Spain’s lead to 2-1. This was also the final result, which concealed the Spanish dominance, as the Spaniards could have netted more goals throughout the game.
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