Spain got their FIFA Confederations Cup programme off to the perfect start with a dominant and deserved 2-1 victory over Copa America champions Uruguay.
The reigning world and European champions were in magnificent form right from kickoff, controlling the match and having a huge majority of possession and creating chances to go with it. They took only 20 minutes to open the scoring thanks to a deflected shot from Pedro Rodriguez which completely wrong-footed Fernando Muslera after striking Diego Lugano.
A well-worked buildup through midfield led to the second goal, finished off by Roberto Soldado from inside the penalty area after Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas were involved.
Fabregas played the final reverse pass to set Soldado free, and the No. 10 enjoyed a fine game in an attacking midfield role. He and Iniesta were arguably the most impressive parts of a free-flowing and confident Spain side, in contrast to Uruguay, which worked hard but simply couldn't maintain possession for any length of time.
Star strikers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani were paired together but offered very little throughout the course of the match, starved of chances as they mustered just a single effort between them—at least, until Suarez stepped up to curl a marvellous free kick into the back of the net with just three minutes left on the clock.
Spain are the favourites for success in this tournament, looking to add it to their current pair of titles, and judging by their form in the opening Group B match, they will certainly be the side to beat.
Tahiti and Nigeria play each other Monday, and while Spain will now expect to progress with ease to the knockout stages, Uruguay must regroup quickly and try to match the African side in their second fixture to stand any chance of joining their European rivals in the semifinals.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!