For about five minutes, including injury time, we had an exciting match. The rest was Uruguay chasing Spain and their slightly boring yet oh so effective passing game, giving them an early 2-0 lead through Pedro and Roberto Soldado, while Luis Suarez’ free kick came way too late to somehow change the result of the match.
The best team won, although it draw some jeers and boos from the Brazilian and Uruguayan fans, each for his own reason. The Xavi – Iniesta – Fabregas ball movement was simply impossible for Uruguay to stop, but any time you don’t press high against a team like Spain, you’re asking for trouble.
The first goal was slightly a lucky event, as it bounced off Diego Lugano, but Uruguay hardly touched the ball in the first half and especially during the first 20 minutes, meaning they deserved to concede for playing in exactly the way you’re not supposed to against Spain.
The second, coming only 11 minutes later, was a bit more deserving of some praise, beginning with the excellent pressure from Pedro after Spain turned the ball over, winning it back, giving it to Cesc Fabregas.
Fabregas had both Pedro and Soldado to feed the ball with, but kept on pushing towards the box, while the Uruguayan defense simply let him take his time and find the perfect time and spot ti put Soldado in a position in which he couldn’t miss from, making it 2-0, and the match looked over, headed towards an hour of garbage time.
It wasn’t far from that, but the entry of Diego Forlan and other substitutions at Spain loosened up the rigid tactics slightly, allowing Uruguay to start attacking with more men, realizing that it’s now or never. Among all the dives and injury feigns, Luis Suarez got a chance that came from an actual foul from a spot he has scored off a few times for Liverpool this season.
Maybe it was a perfect kick, but maybe it was Iker Casillas being a little bit rusty. Bottom line? Uruguay had their goal, which led to a few more minutes of counter attacks from side to side, but it didn’t change the end result: Spain win another competitive match while getting on everyone’s nerves, their first step towards winning yet another title.
They might not be as exciting as they were four or five years ago, before people got a little bit tired of the possession-based style that seems to take the edge out of matches while keeping Spain on an incredible run of titles and wins, but it doesn’t seem the Spanish side, maybe the greatest in the history of the game when you take a look at what they’ve achieved since 2008, is going to change anytime soon.