Torres, Mata, Spain through to Confederations Cup final

Robert Cianflone

Spain advanced to the Confederations Cup final after a 0-0 draw against Spain that was eventually decided by one miss amongst 13 brilliantly taken penalties. It was a good match, although not one overly populated by goalscoring chances, and Brazil will fancy themselves in the final at the Maracana after watching Spain toil in the heat for two full hours.

Fernando Torres had an interesting match. He might have been Spain's most dangerous player in the first half, and had one genuinely brilliant moment when he tore Andrea Barzaglia to shreds in the penalty area only to see his subsequent snapshot flash just wide. He also managed to get Andrea Pirlo to cough up the ball inside the final third, which was pretty neat (maybe Torres is Andrea kryptonite?). The matter of failing to track Daniele de Rossi on a free kick, which resulted in a great scoring chance for Italy was a demerit, but on the whole he emerged from the first 45 minutes of play looking fairly good.

He wasn't bad in the second half either, although he did go missing for about twenty minutes in the middle of it. He was heavily involved in creating chances for Spain, although Iniesta and Gerard Pique wasted grand opportunities after Torres set them up. Was subbed off early in extra time for Javi Martinez because I don't really know why.

Juan Mata didn't start -- Spain used Andres Iniesta, David Silva and Pedro as their attacking midfield line. Silva was entirely ineffective and barely lasted a half. Mata finally made it on with 11 minutes of normal time to go. He actually had a chance to end things in the 90th minute, but he couldn't get any contact on his attempted shot after turning in the box. Ended up playing as a false nine when Torres went off, which went not-particularly well, with Mata missing a few clear-cut chances before the shootout.In said shootout, Mata went 5th, with the score 5-4 in Italy's favour. He scored to take it to sudden death, and Leonardo Bonucci's miss two rounds later allowed Jesus Navas to score the clincher.

I can't think of a reason to play Alvaro Arbeloa over Cesar Azpilicueta, but Vicente del Bosque is a raving madman the manager and I am not.

Anyway, Brazil versus Spain in the final. Lots of Chelsea involvement there, and no matter what some of our boys are going to come home winners.

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