Friday, June 19, 2009

Confed Cup: South Africa - Spain preview

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Saturday 20 June 2009

Kick off 1930 GMT

Venue: Bloemfontein

Hosts South Africa could join Spain in the semifinals of the Confederations Cup if they avoid defeat in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

South Africa

South Africa did their chances of qualification no harm with a 2-0 win over New Zealand. Bernard Parker, villain in the game against Iraq, redeemed himself with a brace as the hosts secured their first win of the tournament. Both the goals were assisted by defender Tsepo Masilela. Steven Pienaar was also in great form, and showed why South Africa missed him against Iraq.

South Africa are currently second in the group, but a loss to Spain along with a big win for Iraq against New Zealand could see them knocked out. However Spain could rest a few key players because their spot in the last four is guaranteed, and that could play into South Africa’s hands.


Spain booked their spot in the semifinals with a hard earned 1-0 win over Iraq. David Villa scored the winner, heading home Joan Capdevila’s cross ten minutes into the second half. Villa is now Spain’s second highest scorer of all time, after Real Madrid legend Raul.

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque chose to rest Carles Puyol, Raul Albiol and Albert Riera. Iraq defended resolutely, and Spain could not find a way past their defence despite some wonderful passing. The ball was in the Iraqi half for most of the match. Villa’s headed goal proved to be the difference between the two sides, and Spain have now won fourteen in a row.

A win for South Africa would see them top the group. Can they derail the Spanish juggernaut with some help from their home fans.

Watch the Spain v South Africa match live online - here