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Spain 3-2 South Africa (aet)

Spain players congratulate Xabi Alonso

Highlights - Spain edge five-goal thriller

Spain secured victory over hosts South Africa in the Confederations Cup third-place play-off courtesy of a Xabi Alonso extra-time free-kick.

South African substitute Katlego Mphela opened the scoring in the second half, lashing in a Siphiwe Tshabalala cross.

Two goals in two minutes from Daniel Guiza seemed to have won it for Spain until Mphela crashed home an injury-time free-kick to force extra-time.

But Alonso curled in a set-piece in the second period of extra-time to win it.

For much of normal time this game was a typically drab third-place play-off, with European Champions Spain - whose 35-match unbeaten run came to a shock end against the United States in the semi-final - particularly lethargic.

The closest either side came to a goal in the first half was a Matthew Booth snap shot that fizzed past the post for the home side.

Spain were brighter in the second half, with Albert Riera forcing a smart save from Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune.

606: DEBATE
Wot Kuyt'e did

However, it was the home side who took the lead when Tshabalala was released wide left and his cross was firstly controlled by Mphela before being crashed into the roof of the net by the striker.

It looked like being the only goal of the game until Guiza's late show.

The substitute striker turned in a Santi Cazorla cross with his right foot into the bottom left-hand corner in the 88th minute.

Barely a minute later he had put Spain into the lead, when what appeared to have been a cross beat Khune, clipped the far upright and went in.

It appeared as though this would be enough to win the match for Spain, but with the final kick of the match, three minutes into injury-time, Mphela lashed in a spectacular 25-yard free-kick to extend matters by a further 30 minutes.

In an understandably nervy extra-time, Liverpool midfielder Alonso had the final say, with a smart, curling free-kick that beat attackers and defenders alike to find the far right corner of the net.


Spain: Casillas, Arbeloa, Albiol, Pique, Capdevila, Santi Cazorla, Alonso, Riera, Busquets (Llorente 81), Villa (Silva 57), Torres (Guiza 57).
Subs Not Used: Diego Lopez, Marchena, Puyol, Pablo, Xavi, Fabregas, Sergio Ramos, Mata, Reina.

Booked: Busquets, Pique, Albiol, Llorente.

Goals: Guiza 88, 89, Alonso 107.

South Africa: Khune, Gaxa, Booth, Mokoena, Masilela, Pienaar (Mphela 64), Dikgacoi, Sibaya, Modise (Van Heerden 69), Parker, Tshabalala (Mhlongo 84).
Subs Not Used: Fernandez, Davids, Mdledle, Fanteni, Moon, Khumalo, Mashego, Gould, Baloyi.

Booked: Pienaar, Mphela, Masilela.

Goals: Mphela 73, 90.

After Extra Time

Att: 21,500

Ref: Matthew Breeze (Austrailia).



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see also
Spain 0-2 United States
25 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Spain 2-0 South Africa
20 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Spain 1-0 Iraq
17 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Spain 5-0 New Zealand
14 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Brazil 1-0 South Africa
25 Jun 09 |  Internationals
South Africa 2-0 New Zealand
17 Jun 09 |  Internationals
South Africa 0-0 Iraq
14 Jun 09 |  Internationals
What is the Confederations Cup?
12 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Is South Africa ready for 2010?
11 Jun 09 |  Football
World Cup: One year to go
11 Jun 09 |  Africa


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