Spain 2 (Pedro 20, Soldado 32)
Uruguay (Suarez 88)
Arena Pernambuco, Recife. Temp. 26°C, wind 6mph, partly cloudy. Referee: Yuichi Nishimura (Japan)
Spain: Casillas, Ramos, Arbeloa, Pique, Alba, Fabregas (Cazorla 65), Iniesta, Xavi (Martinez 77), Busquets, Soldado, Pedro (Mata 81).
Uruguay: Muslera, Lugano, Pereira, Caceres, Godin, Perez (Forlan 69), Rodriguez, Gargano (Lodeiro 63), Ramirez (Gonzalez 46), Suarez, Cavani.
Spain put in a dominant performance that reminded the rest of the world of their class as they overcame a strongy Uruguay team with goals from Pedro and Roberto Soldado. Liverpool’s Luis Suarez got a late consolation goal for Uruguay to set up a tense last couple of minutes and make the outcome a bit closer than the balance of play suggested.
Spain had left their two main strikers from recent tournaments – David Villa and Fernando Torres – on the bench as they preferred to give Pedro and Soldado a chance to shine and they both made good use of the opportunity, showing what strength in depth there is within the Spain squad. Pedro was credited with the first goal in the twentieth minute, although his shot did take a significant deflection off Uruguay defender Diego Lugano, and Soldado was set up by Fabregas to double the lead twelve minutes laater. Fabregas, Pique and Iniesta all also came close to scoring in a first half in which Uruguay rarely threatened as the Spanish controlled the play and dominated possession of the ball.
Uruguay did improve after the interval and managed not to fall further behind as Spain slowed down in the heat of the evening, eventually bringing on Bayern Munich’s Javi Martinez to shut up shop and replace Xavi in the 77th minute. It was a set piece that eventually allowed Suarez to get his name on the scoresheet. He beat Casillas with a free kick from thirty yards, but by then it was too little too late. Spain are now strong favorites to go on and win Group B but Uruguay will still be hopeful of progressing alongside them by beating Nigeria and Tahiti in their next two Confederations Cup matches.