Two matches on day of the Confederations Cup ended in the same 2-1 result. Italy beat Mexico, with Andrea Pirlo opening the scoring with a beautiful free kick to the top corner, while Uruguay lost to Spain, getting a late consolation goal thanks to Luis Suarez with a very similar strike.
Which one was better? Suarez’ goal had a bit more of an angle to it, with a little bit more of a swerve that Iker Casillas couldn’t possibly have reached. Yes, he’s a little bit more than rusty after four months without first-team football, not to mention hardly getting to touch the ball in the first 88 minutes of the match, but it’s hard to imagine him reaching it even when he is at his best.
Andrea Pirlo had a “straighter” look at goal, but his shot was a bit more powerful than Suarez’, and in the end, also had greater importance. Winning, or part-of-a-winning side goals tend to resonate more positively in our minds. On the other hands, it was scored against a lesser quality of a goalkeeper and opponent.
Italy’s win is a huge step on their way to the semifinal, because it takes a lot of pressure off of them heading into the matches against Brazil and Japan, knowing they can afford to draw twice in those matches. For Uruguay, it makes a win over Nigeria a must, while anything but a convincing win against Tahiti would be considered a disappointment.
On the other hand, the way they’ve looked in recent qualifying matches and for almost the entire 90 minutes against Spain doesn’t bode well for their future in the tournament.