Confederations Cup 2013 Scores: Breaking Down Results from Day 2
If Day 2 of the 2013 Confederations Cup is an indication of things to come, then we are in for an electrifying tournament.
Granted, Sunday's matchups of Italy vs. Mexico and Spain vs. Uruguay showcased arguably four of the five best teams in the tournament—something we shouldn't expect to see again until the semifinals.
Still, though, both matches demonstrated some wonderfully played tactical football and absolutely world-class goals.
Let's take a look at the complete results.
Note: You can find all results from the entire tournament here.
Italy Beats Mexico, 2-1
In his 100th career appearance in an Italy shirt, Andrea Pirlo did Andrea Pirlo things. After Italy earned a free kick from about 25 yards out in the 27th minute, the 34-year-old stepped up and sent in a gorgeous, curling strike into the top left corner:
Mexico didn't fold, though.
In the 33rd minute, Giovani dos Santos did well to aggressively take the ball from Andrea Barzagli in Italy's box before the Juventus defender hauled him to the ground for a penalty.
Javier Hernandez stepped to the spot for a clinical finish to make it 1-1:
Coming out of the locker room, the Azzurri impressively controlled the majority of the possession—they ended the match with 59 percent—and in the 78th minute got a much-deserved winner from the enigmatic Mario Balotelli.
Emanuele Giaccherini cleverly flipped the ball over his head into the box, where Super Mario controlled it, held off the defender with his immense strength and fired it past Jose de Jesus Corona:
When Balotelli is interested in scoring, he can be downright impossible to stop. He proved it with that effort goal.
In the end, Pirlo was the star for Italy—which moved into a tie with Brazil atop Group A—while Chicharito, dos Santos and Jose Andres Guardado were encouraging for Mexico up top but couldn't get enough touches.
Who is going to win the Confederations Cup?
Spain Beats Uruguay, 2-1
If there were any questions as to who the favorite of this tournament is, Spain answered them with an emphatic 2-1 victory.
Now, 2-1 doesn't sound emphatic, but with the way the match played out, it felt more like 20-1.
In the first half, Xavi completed as many passes as the entire Uruguay 11, according to ESPN's Paul Carr:
Xavi completed 68 passes in the first half, matching the total of the entire Uruguay team.— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) June 16, 2013
In classic Spain style, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets passed the ball around in the midfield in beautiful fashion, helping Spain set a Confederations Cup record for amount of possession, per Opta Sports:
75,1% - Spain achieved against Uruguay the highest possession of the history in a Confederation Cup´s game. Roller.— OptaJose (@OptaJose) June 17, 2013
In the end, Spain "only" scored twice: Once in the 20th minute when Pedro's shot deflected off a defender into the goal, and a second in the 32nd minute when Cesc Fabregas delivered a gorgeous pass to Roberto Soldado, who got behind the defense and calmly slotted it into the top corner.
But Spain put together an absolutely magical display of possession football, and if it continues to play like this, it will run rampant through this tournament
In the 88th minute, Luis Suarez made things interesting when he gave his best Pirlo imitation:
Although the wonder-strike wasn't enough for Uruguay, it could prove important as it tries to hold off Tahiti and Nigeria in Group B.
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