Friday, 28 June 2013

Jesus Navas's sudden death penalty gives Spain a place in the Confed finals

Spain gets to Confed finals
Spain kept its record unbeaten run intact as it overcame Italy 7-6 in a penalty shootout to reach the Confederations Cup soccer final against host nation Brazil.

Jesus Navas scored with the 14th penalty kick to send top-ranked Spain into the title match after the teams failed to score in 90 minutes of regulation play and half an hour of extra time last night at the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza. It thus went into penalty shootout, which Spain clinched 7-6.

All of the first 10 players to step up to the spot scored, leaving it down to sudden death, and it was Leonardo Bonucci who was first to miss at 6-6 all before substitute Jesus Navas dispatched the winning kick beyond the reach of Gianluigi Buffon.

The final, against the tournament hosts, will be in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.

“Fortune went our way in the shootout,” Spain coach Vicente del Bosque told reporters. “Despite all the things they’ve won, our players feel like kids. They’re playing Brazil at the Maracana and that’s taken them back to boyhood days.”

Last night’s win extended the record undefeated run for world and European champion Spain to 29 competitive games, two more than the mark set by France in 1999.
While Spain had 62 percent of first-half possession, Italy, the 2006 world champion and runner-up at last year’s European Championship, outshot its opponent by nine to two.

The final of the two-week Confederations Cup, an eight-nation warmup for next year’s World Cup, will be played Sunday, June 30 at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

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