Spain couldn’t have started their 2013 Confederations Cup campaign much stronger, overwhelming Uruguay more than the score of 2-1 indicated on Sunday.
Pedro, who scored two goals in Spain’s 3-1 win over Uruguay on Feb. 6 earlier this year, put the first of their two dents in the scoreboard 20 minutes into the match. The ball needed help from Diego Lugano to find the net, but the shot put the Spaniards up 1-0 nonetheless.
Pedro has been a scoring machine for Spain this season. If he maintains his current pace, his 2012-2013 campaign will be a historic one, according to FC Barcelona:
Pedro scores his 11th goal for Spain this season (10 games, ongoing) #fcblive— FCBarcelona (@BarcaStat) June 16, 2013
Matthew Alrick Brown of eCommerce expected Spain to play keep-away after Pedro’s early goal:
Looks like an own goal by Lugano after a nice volley by Pedro. Great, now we all get to watch Spain pass it around the back for 70 minutes.— Matthew Alrick Brown (@alrickbrown) June 16, 2013
That didn’t happen.
Just 12 minutes later, Roberto Soldado handled a defender-splitting pass from Cesc Fábregas and launched a second shot past the outstretched arms of Fernando Muslera.
While Spain only netted two goals in the end, the club attempted 16 shots on the day. Nine were on goal. Comparatively, Uruguay only attempted four shots, two being on goal.
Luis Suarez's conversion on a free kick 88 minutes into the match made the score respectable, causing the match to look closer than it truly was.
Pedro, Spain: A
Spain claimed momentum from the opening get-go, and Pedro's early goal played a major part in that. He attempted two shots in the match, and the one on goal went in.
If he stays hot, the Spaniards will be tough to stop.
Roberto Soldado, Spain: A
Soldado's dagger 32 minutes in seemed at the time like the start of a landslide triumph in Spain's favor. Due to Suarez's shutout-ceasing shot with minutes remaining, Soldado's goal ended up being the game-clincher.
Without his ability to finish off Fabregas' pass, the Spaniards would have been in danger of an upset.
Luis Suarez, Uruguay: A-
Suarez's goal was one of the few bright spots of Uruguay's outing. The Liverpool star was only able to attempt that one shot on the day too. That fact has to leave Uruguay wondering what the outcome of the match would have been if the club could have provided Suarez with more scoring opportunities.
Fernando Muslera, Uruguay: C+
Muslera earned a score that tells a tale of mediocrity rather than liability.
He didn't receive much help from his teammates. Spain possessed the ball 75 percent of the match. One of the two goals scored on him ricocheted off one of his own defenders. Muslera didn't play well, but he finished with four saves, saving Uruguay from complete embarrassment.
|M||Santi Cazorla (On 65') ||B+|
|M||Javi Martinez (On 77')||B+|
|B||Juan Mata (On 81')||B|
|F||Luis Suarez ||A-|
|M||Alvaro Gonzalez (On 46') ||B|
|M||Nicolas Lodeiro (On 63')||A-|
|F||Diego Forlan (On 69')||B+|
Both Spain and Uruguay will play again on Thursday, June 20. The former will face off against Tahiti, while the latter attempts to rebound against Nigeria.
David Daniels is a breaking news writer at Bleacher Report and news editor at Wade-O Radio.