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Feb 2013

The Spanish National Team beat Uruguay (3-1) in an international friendly last wednesday. Cesc Fabregas and Pedro Rodríguez (twice) both scored for Spain whilst Cristian 'Cebolla' Rodríguez scored for Uruguay.

The international friendly was held in Doha mirroring the match that will take place next summer in Brazil, where the Confederations Cup will be hold.

Spain started the game with their usual 1-4-3-3 formation, with wingers Pedro Rodríguez and Juan Mata getting into the free spaces created by Fabregas in the center ot the Spanish attack. For their part, Uruguay displayed a 1-4-4-2 system with a defensive and compact low block, dropping off quickly after losing possession of the ball and trying to launch quick counterattacks. With this idea Edinson Cavani and Luis Suárez showed great mobility trying to exploit the spaces left by the Spanish defence as they were high on the pitch, forcing Spain to concentrate on not giving the ball away in dangerous areas in order to prevent Uruguay's threatening offensive transitions. Spain dominated the game with plenty of possession, but their first two goals arrived after two defensive mistakes from Uruguay. The first goal arrived when a long range shot from Fabregas ended up in the bottom of the goal after a mistake made by Uruguay's goalkeeper Muslera. Before half time two mistakes of Diego Godín trying to come out with the ball gave Mata and Fabregas the chance to score but they didn't take the chances. However, the first half concluded with a 1-1 draw. Cristian Rodriguez, "El Cebolla", beat Victor Valdes to score the equalizer after a good movement of Edison Cavani that left the Spanish defence exposed.

Image created with 'Globall Coach'.

The second half began in a similar script, with the Spanish team determined to continue dominating the game, this time with David Villa and Gerard Pique in place of Juan Mata and Carlos Puyol. The lack of clarity from the South American team along with the sustained Spanish high pressing forced many errors in the Uruguayan players as Spain were a costant threat around Muslera's penalty area. And just five minutes into the second half Pedro Rodríguez scored the second for Spain after Gerard Pique’s pass.

In the last half-hour both teams made several substitutions, but the only one with a tactical impact on the game was when Mario Suárez replaced Santi Cazorla, with Spain playing since that moment with Mario alongside Busquets as holding midfielders. Mario made his debut with for the national team alongside César Azpilicueta and Francisco Alarcón 'Isco'.

Uruguay meanwhile continued to play on the counterattack. But while the sense of danger appeared whenever Edinson Cavani and Luis Suárez were on the ball, only once was Victor Valdes tested after a shot from Napoli striker.

Spain had a complete control of the tempo of the game, keeping possession and creating numerous chances. In the 74th minute Pedro Rodríguez finished a good counterattack to score his second goal and to put the definitive 3-1 on the scoreboard.