RECIFE (Brazil) world champions who knew Spain a winning start their Confederations Cup campaign on Sunday with a 2-1 victory over South American champions Uruguay in the Northern Brazilian city of Recife.
The Spaniards dominated throughout but after Pedro Rodriguez deflected opener could have been grateful Roberto Soldado 32ndminute clincher as Luis Suarez netted a late free kick for the Uruguayans.
Although the Uruguayans moved closer to squeezing a point than they earned, then Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque was delighted as his side laid the Foundation for reaching the final four from a group also with minnows Uruguay and Tahiti.
"These are three wonderful points us in great place when it comes to reaching the semi-finals," said Del Bosque.
"It was a great contest played out in conditions that the players strength sapped," he added, referring to the warm, humid weather.
"We dominated almost the entire match but the margin was a slim one in the event log. At 2-0 we thought we had it already won and we got off the gas a little bit. " Uruguay counterpart Oscar Tabarez said: "Spain were superior and they deserved to win-we lacked a bit of discipline.
In the second half was a little more balanced as we dug deep to play for our pride. " Cesc Fabregas came within the width of a post from giving Spain the lead in the 10th minute with a low strike before the Favorites made the breakthrough after only 20 minutes — to bamboozle keeper Fernando Muslera Lady Luck smiling on them as Diego Lugano home Pedro deflected is shot.
As was their custom, Spain gave the Uruguayans almost no chance to get rid of the ball in the opening quarter and Xavi almost made it two when he sent a free kick whizzing near goal after 26 minutes.
Without the ball Uruguay grew frustrated and resort to some strong arm-tactics as first Edinson Cavani earned a booking for rattles in Sergio Ramos as they challenged for a header.
Ramos responded by Gaston Ramirez push before Uruguayan Cristian Rodriguez Jordi Alba with his elbow caught.
Suarez, in the news he would partly to a shift for expresses from Liverpool to Real Madrid, tried rally the Celeste, who qualified for this event by winning the 2011 Copa America in Argentina, Cavani find with a free kick, but the latter the headline was too close to Iker Casillas.
Del Bosque chose to keep faith with his veteran keeper despite Casillas is missing a piece of the second half of the season with a hand injury — after he had restored the then real coach Jose Mourinho left him on the bench.