[QODLink]
Football

World champions Spain defeat Uruguay

Two goals from Pedro Rodriguez help Spain to victory over South Americans Uruguay in their international friendly.
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2013 21:31
Pedro Rodriguez follows the ball into the net after scoring against Uruguay [Reuters]

World and European champions Spain stretched their unbeaten run at senior international level to 17 games with a 3-1 win over Uruguay on Wednesday thanks to two goals from Pedro Rodriguez.

A goalkeeping error from Fernando Muslera gifted Spain the lead after just 16 minutes as he allowed Cesc Fabregas' long-range effort to slip through his grasp, but Uruguay were deservedly level before half-time as Cristian Rodriguez fired home after latching onto Martin Caceres' clever pass.

However, Pedro proved to be the match-winner in the second-half as he finished calmly from Barcelona teammate Gerard Pique's pass six minutes after the restart before tapping home Fabregas' cross to register his ninth goal in his last six internationals.

Vicente del Bosque's men were captained by Carles Puyol on his 100th international appearance in the absence of Iker Casillas who was out with a broken bone in his left hand.

Cesar Azpilicueta, meanwhile, was making his international debut.

The Chelsea defender was thankful for the experience shown by his skipper when he was late in stepping up to play Luis Suarez onside four minutes in but Puyol recovered well to disposes the Liverpool striker before he could get a shot off.

Spain spring back

Spain went in front 12 minutes later thanks to a huge error from Muslera as he let Fabregas' swerving drive from 30 yards slip through his hands and into the net.

However, the South Americans responded well to going behind and Victor Valdes had to be quick off his line to prevent Edison Cavani having a clear run on goal from a long-ball over the top moments later.

Puyol then nearly marked his landmark appearance with just his fourth international goal but he was ruled to be just offside as he volleyed in a cross from the right.

Uruguay were level though just after the half-hour mark as a fine through ball from Caceres found Rodriguez free inside the area and the Atletico Madrid midfielder slotted the ball low past Valdes.

It took Spain just six minutes into the second period to restore their lead as Pique, who had replaced Puyol at the break, played in Pedro who drove the ball into Muslera's bottom right-hand corner.

Valdes had to make a stunning save to prevent Uruguay finding a second equaliser as he got an outstretched hand to Cavani's driven effort before David Villa could easily have had a third for Spain as his effort drifted just over.

Del Bosque then took the chance to also hand debuts to Isco and Mario Suarez as the game began to become stretched and it was no surprise when Spain broke with great efficiency to kill the game off 15 minutes from time.

Villa fed Fabregas and his cross to the back post was perfectly measured for Pedro to slide home.

477

Source:
AFP
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
About 500,000 participated around the globe in the Peoples Climate March, and Al Jazeera spoke to some in New York.
Separatist movements in Spain, Belgium and Italy may face headwinds following Scotland's decision to stay in the UK.
A fishing trawler carrying 500 migrants across the Mediterranean was rammed by another boat, causing hundreds to drown.
Anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party - with roots in the neo-Nazi movement - recently won 12.9 percent of the vote.
Palestinian doctor who lost three daughters in previous Gaza war is fighting to bring 100 wounded kids to Canada.