Spain has finished in top spot of Group B in the FIFA Confederations Cup after defeating African Champions Nigeria 0 - 3 in the city of Fortaleza in Brazil. The Spanish Football National Team will stay there as they now will meet the second placed Nation of Group A which is Italy next Thursday in the semi-final. The other semi-final will be on Wednesday between Brazil & second placed Group B Nation Uruguay which defeated Tahiti 8-0.


Although the final result looks comfortable, it wasn't especially in the first half as Nigeria was physically stronger & made Spain work hard. In fact, Nigeria had Spain on the back foot most of the first half even though Spanish defender Jordi Alba scored first in the 3rd min to put Spain ahead.

From here onwards Nigeria created clear chances of goal & could have equalized had they been more accurate. The Spanish defence was pushed & Spanish goalie Victor Valdes was excellent with some strong aerial work that transmitted confidence to the team. In my opinion Valdes earned his place today to start in the semi-final & onwards as he looks the more inform goalkeeper of the three. The Italians will use fixed plays & corners as "arms" & I personally see Valdes more secure than Casillas in this aspect. However, the final decision is with Coach Del Bosque & he of course knows better. 

Spain too had their chances in the first 45 mins & surprisingly missed them. Roberto Soldado missed two sitters, Cesc Fabregas hit the post & so on which if any would have been converted would have put the game in the "bag" earlier for Spain.

Spanish football 2013

The second half saw the steamy & hot conditions affect both sides as the rhythm drop & Spain played the ball around more than in the earlier part of the match. Spanish Coach Del Bosque changed Soldado for Fernando Torres & the freshness along with a fabulous Pedro pass, Torres headed the second goal in the 62th min & brought tranquillity to the Spanish Team.  Nigeria did not give up & they created two clear chances which they missed again.

In the 88th min a long defensive free-kick pass found Jordi Alba who won the backs of the Nigerian defenders & ran straight at the Nigerian goalie which he swerved & scored his second for the night & the third for Spain.

Special mentions to Musa & Mikel for Nigeria who were outstanding & unlucky to not have scored a goal. Other special mention to Spanish players Pedro who ran all night, Ramos & Pique both which held firm in the first half under the Nigerian "attack", Spanish goalkeepr Victor Valdes solid in the air & my MVP again the "magician" Andres Iniesta who was brilliant.

The FIFA Confederations Cup now enters the "business part" of the tournament with the first semi Brazil - Uruguay & the second semi Spain - Italy. Beforehand Spain looks favourite over an Italian side that is not firing 100%, but historically the Italians are not a team to meet relaxed or overconfident. Italy will be dangerous & looking for "revenge" after the 2012 Euro Final loss to Spain as they too have pride & will go in with everything.
Frankly, Italy are beforehand very dangerous. 

Match details:

SPAIN 3 : Víctor Valdés; Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos, Piqué, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Xavi; Iniesta, Cesc (Silva, m.54), Pedro (Villa, m.75);& Soldado (Fernando Torres, m.60).

NIGERIA 0 : Vincent Enyeama; Efe Ambrose, Kenneth Omeruo (Egwuekwe, m.12), Godfrey Oboabona, Uwa Echiejile; Ogude, Obi Mikel, Sunday Mba (John Igu, m.63); Ideye, Ahmed Musa & Akpala (Muhammad, m.71).

Goals: 1-0, m.3: Jordi Alba. 2-0, m.62: Torres. 3-0, m.89: Jordi Alba.

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