Live Commentary: Nigeria 0-3 Spain - as it happened

Live Commentary: Nigeria 0-3 Spain - as it happened
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Sports Mole's live coverage of the Confederations Cup clash between Spain and Nigeria that ends in a win for the European giants.

Nigeria knew that nothing but a victory against Spain this evening would keep their Confederations Cup campaign alive.

Spain made a strong start and took the lead through Jordi Alba, with the Super Eagles spurning a number of gilt-edged chances to restore parity before the break.

Early in the second period substitute Fernando Torres extended Spain's advantage, with Alba bagging a brace to kill the game just before stoppage time.

Look back at an efficient display from Vicente del Bosque's side with Sports Mole's minute-by-minute commentary from Fortaleza below.


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7.33pmHello international football fans. The group stages of a thoroughly entertaining Confederations Cup conclude tonight, with Sports Mole bringing you live coverage of the crucial clash between Spain and Nigeria in Fortaleza.

7.36pmAll the pressure is on Nigeria tonight as the Super Eagles look to keep their hopes of a semi-final spot alive. Only a win against all-conquering Spain will keep Stephen Keshi's side in the tournament, and even a memorable victory might not prove enough depending on goal difference!

7.39pmWith Uruguay's match against Tahiti tonight effectively a formality Nigeria must find a way to nullify Spain, or they will miss out on a place in the last four. Vicente del Bosque's side were awesome against Uruguay to start Group B, with the luxury of wholesale changes against Tahiti on Thursday keeping their star-studded squad fresh for the latter stages.

7.42pmDel Bosque must maintain a difficult balancing act with his team selection this evening, with three strikers all striving for a sole starting spot. David Villa and Fernando Torres scored seven goals between them against Tahiti three days ago, while Soldado justified his selection for the Uruguay match with a crucial strike. La Roja's strength in depth means that Del Bosque will upset one of his key men once more tonight.

7.45pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS! The starting XI's have reached us and feature Soldado, Fabregas and Andres Iniesta in a Spain side back to full strength. Nigeria have been forced to leave out Nnamdi Oduamadi through injury, but Sunday Mba returns in central midfield.

7.47pmSPAIN: Valdes, Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos, Pique, Jordi Alba, Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta, Pedro, Fabregas, Soldado

7.49pmNIGERIA: Enyeama, Oboabona, Echiejile, Ambrose, Omeruo, Mikel, Ogude, Mba, Musa, Ideye, Akpala

7.52pmDel Bosque has opted to start the same 10 outfield players that faced Uruguay in their opening match of the tournament, with Sergio Ramos the only player to start all three group matches. Victor Valdes gets a rare start for La Roja in goal, with Spain using their third goalkeeper in as many games.

7.55pmNigeria's starting XI shows two changes from their disappointing defeat to Uruguay. Oduamadi has failed to recover from an injury in that match, with Keshi choosing to bring in Werder Bremen forward Joseph Akpala in his place. Ideye Brown continues in attack, with Mba starting alongside Jon Obi Mikel in central midfield.

7.57pmPREDICTION! With the Nigerian national anthem in full voice there is just time for me to hazard a guess at tonight's scoreline. Nigeria may be desperate for a victory but Spain are in ominous form and I think they will prove too strong tonight. Look for Pedro to register in a 3-1 win for La Roja!

7.59pmWe are just about ready to get this final Group B clash underway. Let's hope for a match similar to the famous 3-2 clash between the two sides at the 1998 World Cup. Nigeria edged that classic encounter and need to repeat that result to have any chance of qualifying for the semi-finals here in Brazil!

2 minNigeria get the game started in a changed all-white strip, shooting from left to right. Thankfully a welcome shade is covering the pitch at the moment in Fortaleza, but with a reported temperature of 35 degrees expect humidity to play a part later in the match.

4 minA wonderful exchange of passes in the penalty area has Spain on the attack early on. Fabregas and Iniesta were able to swap precise passes in the area, with a nutmeg and low shot from Iniesta eventually forcing Enyeama into a smart stop at this near post. At the other end Nigeria threaten on the counter through Musa, who wins a corner kick.

5 minGOAL! Spain 1-0 Nigeria (Alba)

7 minSpain have made the early breakthrough after an attacking move which sums up the quality in this side in all areas. Busquets, Fabregas and Iniesta all featured in a swift, passing move before Alba's menacing run was spotted on the left wing. The full-back cut inside and got rather fortunate with a nutmeg, but made the most of his chance to slot home from eight yards with a composed strike.

10 minNigeria were always facing an uphill task tonight, but their chances of qualification now look increasingly slim. Spain are confidently keeping possession with assured passes across the pitch. A superb piece of movement then has Fabrgeas bearing down on goal, but an important late tackle from Omeruo just stops the midfielder from shooting inside the penalty area.

12 minOmeruo looks to have suffered a nasty shoulder injury after falling heavily in making that block to deny Fabregas, with the young Chelsea defender seemingly unable to continue. It looks like Nigeria are about to be forced into an early change.

14 minAction at both ends that could have easily seen either side score within a minute. First Mikel and Akpala had successive shots from close range blocked behind. From the following corner kick Spain broke quickly through Pedro, but his pacy run was halted in a tussle with Echiejile. The Barcelona winger went down but appeals for a penalty were quickly turned away by the official from El Salvador.

17 minSUBSTITUTION: Confirmation that Nigeria have been forced into an early change in central defence, with Egwuekwe replacing Omeruo inside the first 15 minutes. Keshi's side have responded positively to that early setback as Akpala aims a tame low shot through to Valdes, who dives low to make a comfortable save.

20 minMusa and Ideye both carry a threat with a pace down both flanks for Nigeria, with the Super Eagles helping to keep this match very open in the early stages. The neutrals in attendance have warmed to Nigeria's approach as Sunday Mba tests Valdes with a low strike, which is kept out by the Barcelona keeper at his near post.

23 minSoldado concedes a free kick after climbing on the back of Mikel, giving Nigeria a chance to deliver from 25 yards. Mikel's delivery teases a packed penalty but Valdes is out quickly to punch clear, with Akpala caught offside on the rebound.

26 minIn clearing that free kick Valdes caught his own defender Pique in a heavy challenge, with the defender forced to leave the field for treatment. When play resumes Mikel attempts to charge through a congested midfield space, with Arbeloa eventually ending his run forward with a well-timed challenge.

29 minSAVE! Ramos picks out Soldado with a long ball over the top, with the forward beating a static offside trap to bear down on goal. Soldado has time to pick his spot but eventually aims a low strike straight down the throat of Enyeama, who stays strong to turn round the post. A forward of his quality should really have buried that chance, and he knows it.

32 minNigeria continue to carry a threat in the final third, with Ambrose finding Akpala unmarked with a lofted cross into the penalty area. The forward aims his header low into the corner but Valdes is able to save at his near post. Ideye then storms through on the follow up, but has his shot from a tight ankle blocked by Pique.

35 minSuperb play by Pedro sends Soldado clean through on goal once more. The forward steadies himself and takes an age to shoot, eventually opting for power over placement. His effort is very central and kept out forcefully by Enyeama, who has got the better of their duel so far this evening.

38 minAnother strong, pacy run from Musa creates space out wide for Nigeria, with Pique beaten for sheer speed. The winger's cross is aimed towards the far post and a run from Akpala, but Alba reads the danger to cover and clear on the far side.

41 minOFF THE POST! Fabregas has somehow failed to put Spain further ahead, with Nigeria staying in touch thanks to a huge slice of fortune. The midfielder raced onto a superb pass from Iniesta inside the penalty area, with his shot bouncing off the inside of the post and back into a grateful Enyeama's waiting arms.

44 minNigeria are next to create an opening in this end-to-end clash, with Ideye unable to make full contact from six yards, after Ambrose had sent a superb cross towards the near post. Echiejile then whips a powerful cross out over the bar, giving Spain a chance to regroup.

45 min+2Soldado wants too much time after bringing down a wonderful diagonal pass from Xavi, allowing Egwuekwe to recover and retrieve possession with a strong challenge. Mikel is then completely deceived by quick feet from Busquets and is slightly fortunate to escape a caution for his late tackle.

8.48pmHALF-TIME Nigeria 0-1 Spain

8.51pmWell the trend of sheer entertainment in this competition continues, with Spain and Nigeria serving up 45 minutes of attacking football in Fortaleza. Alba's early goal separates the two sides, but the Super Eagles have had chances of their own and can take heart from a spirited effort so far.

8.54pmDespite just about shading possession Spain have looked slightly shaky in defence, with Valdes kept busy on a rate international outing. Fabregas, Mikel and Ideye have all had strong chances to score, with Soldado also guilty of wasteful finishing in the final third.

8.57pmNigeria have looked most dangerous in wide areas tonight, with Musa and Akpala willing runners with pace to match. Mikel also looks to be relishing an attacking midfield role that seems alien to his position with Chelsea, linking play with precise passing and strength.

9.00pmI definitely expect Del Bosque to make changes early in the second half if Spain fail to extend their advantage. With Torres and Villa sat on the bench Soldado must feel that his wasteful finishing will see him substituted without a swift improvement after the break.

9.03pmHow Super Eagles coach Keshi must wish he could call upon a top striker to finish off their promising approach play. In tonight's other Group B game Uruguay have put three past Tahiti, which means that Nigeria will crash out of the tournament without a dramatic turnaround in Fortaleza.

48 minWe are back underway in Fortaleza, with Nigeria starting the second period with possession deep in their own half. Akpala is then furious as a debatable throw-in decision goes against him next to the corner flag, with Alba appearing to talk the linesman round to award Spain the ball.

51 minA sublime touch from Iniesta helps Spain start a swift attack featuring Alba and Pedro. Nigeria are being forced to chase the ball early in the second half, which in this heat may prove a factor in the closing stages of the match.

54 minCHANCE! Nigeria have just spurned a glorious opportunity to level this match after strong work out wide from Musa. His cross caught Valdes completely by surprise, but Ideye arriving at the far post was unable to turn into an empty net.

57 minSUBSTITUTION: Fabregas signals to the bench that he is struggling with a knock and is immediately withdrawn as a precaution. David Silva takes his place for Spain, with Xavi sending a free kick just beyond the top corner just before the change is made.

60 minNigeria break again with pace but this time down the left flank, but Akpala falls over after attempting an elaborate flick and the move breaks down soon after. At the other end Silva is quick to get involved and find Iniesta, with Alba's cross flashing past the six-yard box without finding a Spain teammate.

62 minSUBSTITUTION: Silva's pass inside two Nigerian defenders looks for Pedro's clever dart forward, but the winger's just caught on his heels inside the penalty area. Spain decide to make their second change soon after, with Torres coming on for Soldado in attack.

65 minGOAL! Nigeria 0-2 Spain (Torres)

67 minWithin two minutes of coming on Torres rounds off a sustained spell of possession to get his fifth goal of the tournament. Pedro provided the telling cross with a curling delivery into the penalty area, with Torres arriving on cue to head home from close range. That should just about do it for Nigeria's stubborn resistance and their efforts to edge Uruguay for second place in Group B.

70 minSUBSTITUTION: Nigeria make a change to provide fresh legs in midfield as Ogu replacing Mba. When play resumes Iniesta provides Torres with another superb pass in the final third, but the forward's strike is blocked by a brave last-ditch block from Oboabona.

72 minEchiejile has time to look across the line as he bursts forward, but just strays offside when he eventually receives a late pass. Spain are now exploiting space on both flanks with consistency, but Oboabona shows strength and poise to hold off Torres for the second time in quick succession inside the penalty area.

74 minNigeria just about scramble back to stop Pedro shooting inside the penalty area. Keshi then decides to make his final change in attack, with Akpala coming off for Gambo, who is making his first appearance in the competition tonight.

76 minCHANCE! Mikel has the crowd roaring in appreciation as he glides past two Spain defenders, with his impressive solo run eventually halted by a cynical challenge from Arbeloa. Soon after Musa finds Gambo in acres of space out wide, with the substitute somehow scuffing wide with time to pick his spot.

79 minSUBSTITUTION: Spain make another change to their star-studded forward line, with record scorer Villa replacing Pedro. Iniesta then glides forward from the next La Roja attack, with Silva played into space. His shot is charged down quickly, with a rather crude Torres effort also parried clear by a spirited Nigeria rearguard.

82 minSilva just runs out of room to squeeze a pass through to Villa. At the other end Mikel makes another powerful run into the final third, with his wild effort from 30 yards failing to trouble Valdes in the Spain goal.

85 minMore poor finishing undermines Nigeria's strong running, with Musa this time guilty as he smashes wide from just inside the penalty area. A fresh Torres then wins a rather fortunate corner kick for Spain off Echiejile, which Silva takes short to Iniesta.

88 minEnyeama just enough to deny Torres with a sliding challenge inside the six-yard box after another incisive Spain attack, which featured slick passing from Iniesta and Villa.

89 minGOAL! Nigeria 0-3 Spain (Alba)

90 min+1Nigeria go from taking a corner to conceding a third goal within 20 seconds, thanks to another piece of brilliance inside the final third by Alba. The full-back raced onto a long ball out from the back by Villa, before easily rounding Enyeama to turn home his second of the night.

90 min+3Villa has a late chance to find the net after a wonderful inside pass from Silva. The forward's curling shot is aimed towards the far post, with Enyeama this time reading the danger to make a smart, low stop. Torres picks up the pieces to cross at the near post, but Villa is unable to make contact at full stretch.

9.51pmFULL-TIME Nigeria 0-3 Spain

9.54pmWell in the end Spain survived a few nervy moments to maintain their 100% record in this tournament, courtesy of goals from Torres and an Alba brace. That means that Del Bosque's side will face Italy in the semi-finals on Thursday, with Nigeria missing out on a place in the last four to Uruguay.

9.57pmNigeria were brave but ultimately failed to take chances, with Gamba, Ideye and Akpala all guilty of wasteful finishing from good positions. In tonight's other match Uruguay put eight past Tahiti, which means that they will face South American rivals Brazil in the other semi-final encounter on Wednesday.

9.59pmThat just about does it for Sports Mole's coverage from Fortaleza. Thanks for your time and hope enjoyed keeping in touch with another Spain masterclass against the Super Eagles. Goodnight!

Spain's Cesc Fabregas celebrates scoring against Uruguay on February 6, 2013
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