Confederations Cup: Spain down Uruguay, Italy win as protests continue
Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque criticised his players for not scoring more goals during a sublime first half against Uruguay and said that profligacy caused some heart flutters at the end of their 2-1 Confederations Cup victory on Sunday.
"We dominated at all times with the exception of when we struggled and let in a goal," del Bosque said. "At the end of the 90 minutes we were happy to hear the final whistle.
"We should have scored more and maybe we were tired and also as a result of winning 2-0, that affects the players, they start to slow down and that is why we suffered at the end."
Spain completely outclassed Uruguay in a first half, during which they held 78 per cent of the possession, with Pedro and Roberto Soldado scoring goals while Cesc Fabregas also hit the post and the world champions created numerous other chances, principally from the work by man-of-the match Andres Iniesta.
Image: Spain's Pedro (right) celebrates teammate Xavi after scoring against Uruguay during their Confederations Cup Group B match at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil on Sunday
Photographs: Ricardo Moraes/Reuters
'They imposed themselves on us'
Uruguay came back into the game in the second period but they rarely threatened Iker Casillas and Luis Suarez's goal in the 88th minute put a misleading complexion on the final result.
"We did almost everything well, we defended well, we recovered the ball well and we didn't leave them many options to create," del Bosque said.
His Uruguayan counterpart Oscar Tabarez did not disagree with that assessment and looked resigned at the press conference, stating that Spain were superior at all times.
"They were well worth their victory," Tabarez said.
"They imposed themselves on us, especially during the first half and we didn't have the order to regain possession when necessary."
Tabarez said he changed things at halftime to try and stymie Spain on the flanks, where Fabregas and Soldado had done much of their damage.
Image: Spain's Roberto Soldado (left) and Uruguay's Diego Lugano fight for possession during their Confederations Cup Group B match at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil on Sunday
Photographs: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters
'We rescued our dignity in the second half'
The first half could have been catastrophic for Uruguay, he added, and he appealed to the players' pride for their future Group B games against African champions Nigeria and surprise Oceania champions Tahiti.
"We rescued our dignity and in the second half it was a more logical game, even though Spain continued to be superior," he said.
Uruguay now face Nigeria in Salvador on Thursday and with Tahiti not expected to provide much of a challenge for the other sides, Tabarez said his team's tournament future will now depend on securing a result against the Africans.
"Our luck depends on the most important game, which is the next one and if we do that we can get into the final four."
Image: Spain's goalkeeper Iker Casillas (centre) dives full stretch but fails to make a save off a free kick goal by Uruguay's Luis Suarez during their Confederations Cup Group B match at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil on Sunday
Photographs: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters
Italy beat Mexico as more protests on Day 2
Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowds as protests marred a second successive day of the Confederations Cup soccer tournament in Brazil on Sunday.
Protesters tried to pass a police blockade outside Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium where Mexico were playing Italy in the tournament, a run-through event for next year's World Cup finals.
Reuters TV filmed police firing tear gas and rubber bullets at the crowd estimated by local media at around 600 people.
"They were to trying to negotiate with the protesters to retreat, I am a protester," one man told Reuters TV.
"But they didn't wait, they came this way, they encircled us and fired tear gas into the crowds without seeing if there were women or children."
Italy beat Mexico 2-1 in the Group A game.
The protests are ostensibly against the costs of this tournament and the World Cup but people are also angry in Rio about a local issue surrounding the cost of public transport.
Image: Italy's players Gianluigi Buffon (back, obscured), Daniele De Rossi, Mattia De Sciglio and Giorgio Chiellinicelebrate at the end of their Confederations Cup Group A match against Mexico at the Estadio Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday
Photographs: Pilar Olivares/Reuters