Del Bosque hails 'three magnificent points'

Post-match reaction to Spain's 2-1 victory over Uruguay.

Last Updated: 17/06/13 at 07:06 Post Comment   

Roberto Soldado celebrates his goal

Roberto Soldado celebrates his goal

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque believes his team are now in the driving seat in Confederations Cup Group B after overcoming Uruguay 2-1 in Recife.

First half goals from Pedro - helped by a large deflection - and Roberto Soldado put the world and European champions on their way to victory, although Luis Suarez reduced the deficit with a superb free-kick late on.

"These are three magnificent points that leave us in a very good position in the group to go into the next two games," said Del Bosque.

The coach was delighted with his side's performance but rued their missed chances and admitted they struggled in the final stages of the match, which he put down to the difficult conditions inside the stadium.

"It was a good game and we dominated for almost the entirety of the match, but by the end we were under the cosh a bit," he said.

"We were patient and adopted a combination of keeping control of the ball and playing direct football.

"We did almost everything well, we defended carefully, we got the ball back quickly, we created good football but couldn't finish off our attacks and at the end we were a little worried.

"We shouldn't have had to suffer like that. We finished the game badly as we had to conserve our energy, above all because of the temperature and because we were worn out.

"We didn't just play well in the first half, we also had a good second half, but their goal and the way we ended the game put a dampener on the performance.

"By the end we were a little nervous because we missed some goalscoring opportunities and had we taken them we would have been much more relaxed."

Despite the nervous finish precipitated by Suarez's goal, Del Bosque said his team got their tactics right.

"We managed to nullify their two most dangerous players that they brought on to improve in the attack.

"We knew that we were going to take the initiative and direct the game. We may have conceded a goal from a set piece but on the whole we knew how to counteract Uruguay."

The absence of Xabi Alonso due to injury meant that Del Bosque allowed Cesc Fabregas a free role in midfield and the player was happy with that.

He said: "The boss asked me to play freely.

"He knows that when I was at Arsenal that was the position I played in the best, and it worked very well today."

Fabregas also reflected on the team's performance as a whole, saying: "We played very well, we were very strong in defence and in attack. We had a very good first half."

Andres Iniesta concurred with Fabregas, but admitted that Spain's performance began to decline towards the end of the match, partly due to the high temperature.

He said: "We had a great game but we were really worn out due to the heat and humidity. We feel very good about our performance and that is what's important.

"We knew that Uruguay were going to be very difficult opponents because of the way they play, they are very aggressive, in the good sense of the word, they don't let you settle.

"In the second half we dropped our level a bit and it was a shame we couldn't get the third goal, but the important thing is that we won."

Goalscorer Soldado was delighted that Spain not only managed to get the three points, but also played the way they wanted to.

"We leave here very happy because we were up against a very tough team and we managed to win," he said.

"We have managed to stay loyal to our philosophy, even against a team as good as Uruguay."


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