thumbnail Hello,
Live

Confederations Cup

  • June 23, 2013
  • • 15:00
  • • Estádio Governador Plácido Aderaldo Castelo, Fortaleza, Ceará
  • Referee: J. Aguilar
  • • Attendance: 51263
0
FT
3

Nigeria 0-3 Spain: Jordi Alba and Fernando Torres ensure world champions top Group B

La Roja eased past the challenge of the Super Eagles with a comfortable victory over the African champions to set up a semifinal matchup against Italy

Spain wrapped up its group stage campaign of the Confederations Cup with ease after recording a comfortable 3-0 victory over Nigeria at the Estadio Castelao Fortaleza

A brilliant solo double from Jordi Alba and a header from substitute Fernando Torres sealed the victory over a disappointing Super Eagles, who were undone by their own inability to finish the numerous chances that came their way.

Predictably, Vicente Del Bosque made a number of changes from the side that dismantled Tahiti 10-0 on Thursday, with Victor Valdes starting in goal. Nigeria, meanwhile, made two changes from the lineup that suffered defeat against Uruguay.

And Spain settled into its rhythm early on, with Andres Iniesta nutmegging a defender en route to testing Vincent Enyeama with a good effort inside a minute. However, the early barrage continued, with Alba opening the scoring two minutes later in scintillating fashion.

Picking up the ball after a neat pass from Iniesta, the Barcelona fullback embarked on a fine run, slaloming past three Nigerian defenders before coolly slotting the ball past Enyeama to put La Roja up a goal.

The African champions struggled in the opening exchanges, with Cesc Fabregas denied by Enyaema, but at the other end, they too saw a chance go begging, with Sergio Ramos hurriedly thwarting John Obi Mikel, after the ball had fallen to him following good work by Joseph Akpala.

Stephen Keshi's side rallied, and was posing numerous problems for the world and European champions. Set through by Ideye Brown, Sunday Mba produced a stinging effort from distance which required Valdes to divert it away for a corner.

But Spain continued to dominate in search for a second. First, Ramos' superb long ball picked out Roberto Soldado, whose brief hesitation allowed Enyeama to recover, before the Valencia striker's pin-point delivery off the wing for Fabregas, saw the latter strike against the post.

Nigeria's profligate finishing continued early into the second half. Ahmed Musa's threatening delivery off the right flank picked out Brown in the middle, but somehow, the striker couldn't connect cleanly with the ball, though at the other end, Xavi flashed a free kick narrowly over the bar as both sides' search for another goal continued.

Just after the hour, Spain doubled its advantage. Torres, who had been only on the field for two minutes, capitalized on some poor defending to power a header from Pedro's fine cross.

Nigeria began to tire towards the end of the second period, amidst the typical passing intensity imposed by their opponents, but it once again failed to beat Valdes in the Spain goal. Another teasing delivery from Musa saw substitute Muhammad Gambo to somehow fire horribly wide of the post.

Alba wrapped up a fine performance with two minutes to go, latching onto David Silva's long pass to round Enyeama and into an empty net to seal an emphatic second and Spain's third.

Spain tops Group B with nine points, and will face Itay in a rematch of last year's Euro 2012 final in the last four on Thursday in Fortaleza.

Follow GOAL.COM on

Related

From the web