Confederations cup: Spain to the semis and redemption for Bernard Parker

17 06 2009

Spain sealed the deal today by negotiating past a defend at all costs Iraq, while a certain South African striker made sure not to become the Confederations Cup version of Mario Gomez.
Spain 1-0 Iraq

Iraq went out to defend against Spain, and spent most of the game doing exactly that.

And it nearly worked too, with Spain winning just 1-0 through David Villa’s 55th minute header. Apparently Villa finds it easier to score if the commentators are speaking English.

Spain’s win puts them through to the semis (yeah, I’m as shocked as you are) and also means they’ve gone 34 games unbeaten. Just one short of the 35 matches unbeaten world record held by either Brazil (if you believe Reuters) or by Australia, France and Brazil jointly (if you believe the NYTimes).

Either way, Spain are doing very nicely.


South Africa 2-0 New Zealand

In the later game, South Africa got their first win of the tournament by beating the Confed Cup Group A points ATM that is New Zealand.

And guess who got both the goals? (I know, you probabaly already know, but humour me…) Bernard Parker. After his embarrassing off-the-line clearance cost Bafana Bafana two points in the opener, the Red Star Belgrade striker restored his reputation with two well taken goals.

All of which leaves Group A looking like so:

[via FIFA.com]

For the Group A finale (Saturday, June 20th) it’s:

Iraq vs New Zealand
Spain vs South Africa

Both games kick off at  2:30pm US Eastern time.

If South Africa can get a point vs Spain, then they’re through and the fans go wild. If they lose and Iraq bets New Zealand, then it all comes down to goal difference (first Confederations Cup tie breakers is head to head, but Iraq and South Africa drew 0-0 so goal diff it is.)

Thursday’s Confed Cup action is Brazil vs USA (which USA pretty much have to win to stay alive) and Egypt vs Italy (which Egypt pretty much have to win to stay alive)

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