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28.06.2009 18:18

Bronze in the end (3-2)


Spain, with Piqué and Sergio Busquets in the starting XI, have come third in the Confederations Cup. Del Bosque’s side won in extra-time after 90 minutes’ play ended at 2-2 in an exciting finish.

Spain have won the Confederations Cup third and fourth place play-off against tournament hosts South Africa. After a slow start, the Spanish picked up the tempo of the game especially at the end of the second half.

Piqué and Busquets are starters

Despite speculation that coach Vicente del Bosque might give match time to players who haven’t had as many opportunities so far, there were few changes to the starting line-up. Both Xavi, who has had an allergy, and Puyol stayed on the bench, while the other two Barça players, Piqué and Busquets, were starters.

Poor first half

The early part of the game lacked rhythm and few chances were created. After David Villa saw his effort saved by the South African keeper, the other clear chance didn’t come along until 30 minutes later, evidence of the poor football on display in the first half.

Busquets goal disallowed

At the start of the second half Sergio Busquets had a goal disallowed for a non-existent offside, although it did show that Spain were getting into the game. However, the first gaol came from the hosts’ Mphela who stuck the ball past Casillas in the 74th minute.

Güiza turns game around

With both Villa and Torres off the pitch, Dani Güiza took over in attack for Spain and in the 87th minute fired home the equaliser. As thoughts turned to extra-time, he then scored again to put Spain ahead, only for Mphela to equalise for South Africa in the 93rd minute.


So it went down to extra-time. After the first 15 minutes players on both sides were looking tired. Then with 7 minutes left on the clock in the second half, Xavi Alonso got the winner. The result means that Sergio Busquets, Xavi, Puyol and Piqué will be coming back to Barcelona with bronze medals.
Photos: Getty Images.
Photos: Getty Images.

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