BBC Sport football


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 16:11 GMT, Wednesday, 17 June 2009 17:11 UK

Spain 1-0 Iraq

David Villa celebrates his goal against Iraq with Juan Manuel Mata

Highlights - Villa heads Spain to win over Iraq (UK only)

By Nabil Hassan

David Villa's second-half header gave Spain a deserved victory against Iraq and saw them qualify for the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup.

Spain were dominant throughout but were hampered by some poor finishing.

Villa fired an early volley into the side netting with Fernando Torres also slicing wide, while Santi Cazorla sent a low drive just past the post.

After the break Villa missed a near-post header but soon after powered Joan Capdevila's cross past Mohamed Kassid.

Iraq rarely threatened the reigning European champions although early on, Alaa Abdul Zahra sent a low shot from the edge of the area straight at Spain keeper Iker Casillas.

That was as close as the Asian champions came with Torres, Villa and Cazorla all going close for Spain in a one-sided first period.


Just before the break Joan Capdevila should also have done better with a close header while Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso tested the impressive Iraq keeper Kassid with a long-range drive.

After half time Villa's unmarked missed header should have been a warning for Iraq.

But moments later, the Valencia forward again found himself in between two defenders and he made no mistake by directing Capdevila's cross in off the post to open the scoring.

The goal saw him become Spain's second highest scorer behind Real Madrid legend Raul.

To their credit, Iraq went in search of an equaliser but despite enjoying more possession, they lacked the firepower to trouble the Spain defence.

Alonso forced a decent save from Kassid as did Juan Manuel Mata for Spain.

Late on Nashat Akram fired just wide for Iraq but Spain held on for the victory.

It meant that a 14th successive win saw them equal the world record for consecutive victories.

It was also Spain's 34th match unbeaten, one off the current world record held by Brazil.

Spain: Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Pique, Marchena, Capdevila, Santi Cazorla (Silva 67), Alonso, Xavi (Busquets 82), Mata, Villa (Guiza 74), Torres.
Subs Not Used: Diego Lopez, Reina, Albiol, Puyol, Pablo, Fabregas, Llorente, Riera, Arbeloa.

Booked: Alonso, Marchena.

Goals: Villa 55.

Iraq: Kassid Kadhim, Shaker, Ali Karim, Majeed, Rehema, Abbas, Saeed (Karim 60), Akram, Khalid, Hawar Mulla Mohammed (Jassim 69), Abdul-Zehra (Mahmoud Khalef 81).
Subs Not Used: Sabri, Talib, Sadir, Emad Mohammed, Salah Hassan, Abu Al Hail, Dara Mohammed, Yaseen, Halgurd Mulla Mohammed.

Booked: Abbas.

Att: 25,000

Ref: Mathew Breeze (Australia).

Print Sponsor

see also
Spain 5-0 New Zealand
14 Jun 09 |  Internationals
South Africa 0-0 Iraq
14 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Brazil 4-3 Egypt
15 Jun 09 |  Internationals
USA 1-3 Italy
15 Jun 09 |  Internationals
What is the Confederations Cup?
12 Jun 09 |  Internationals

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites