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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Balotelli to miss semi-final clash with Spain

Balotelli to miss semi-final clash with Spain

June 24, 2013 13:44 IST

Italy striker Mario Balotelli has been ruled out of his side's Confederations Cup semi-final against Spain on Thursday with a thigh injury, the Italian Football Federation said on Sunday.

"The examinations carried out this afternoon in Fortaleza on Mario Balotelli showed a grade-one tear in the quadriceps muscle of the left leg," it said in a statement.

"The player will not be available for the semi-final against Spain on Thursday, June 27 and in the coming days his condition will be evaluated for the match on the 30th (either the final or third-place play-off)."

Mario BalotelliBalotelli, who left Manchester City for AC Milan earlier this year, has scored twice for Italy in the tournament, and would have been expected to once again lead his side's attack in Fortaleza against the world and European champions.

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli hopes to have playmaker Andrea Pirlo available after he missed Saturday's 4-2 defeat to hosts Brazil in the final Group A game with a sore calf.

Brazil take on Uruguay in the other semi-final on Wednesday.

Spain, Uruguay in last four

On Sunday, world champions Spain survived a first-half pounding by Nigeria before securing their place in the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup with a 3-0 win over the African champions who were eliminated.

A superb individual goal from Jordi Alba, one of eight Barcelona players in the starting lineup, put Spain ahead after only three minutes before Fernando Torres took his tournament tally to five with a 62nd minute diving header, three minutes after replacing Roberto Soldado.

Spain were given a good examination by a hard-running Nigeria for most of the first half, but poor finishing cost the Super Eagles any chance of a victory. Alba rounded off Spain's win with his second goal in the 88th minute.

Meanwhile, Abel Hernandez grabbed four goals as Uruguay's reserves won 8-0 against Tahiti on Sunday, taking the South Americans into a Confederations Cup semi-final with Brazil and sending the Pacific islanders home after a third successive drubbing.

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