BBC Sport world-cup-2010


Spain 1-0 Portugal

By Chris Whyatt & Jonathan Stevenson
  1. 18:05 Commentary  

    So, after the warm-up band, the headline act. "Ladies and gentleman," says I, adopting Michael Buffer gravitas. "In the red corner, the reigning European champions and protectors of The Beautiful Game - Spain. In the green corner, yes. It's the world's most expensive footballer, Real Madrid's £80m male model/ winger Cristiano Ronaldo (and 10 other Portuguese players). Let's. Get. Reeeeady. To. Ruuuuuuu………." You know the rest.

  2. 18:11 Commentary  

    Portugal much more than a one-man team, of course, what with six different players knocking seven goals past North Korea without reply. Spooky. BBC pundit and former Netherlands midfield general Clarence Seedorf had the same thought process as myself in previewing this match, or vice versa. Please do take a look at his boxing-themed montage ahead of this 'All-Iberian heavyweight clash'. Kick off is at 1930 BST. Can they give us something to rival one of the greatest sporting contests ever held on African soil, the Rumble in the Jungle? Who's to take the Foreman tag? Will a Muhammad Ali take a step towards immortality?

  3. 18:20 Commentary  

    Important not to shamelessly over-hype matches at course, but also important not to undersell them. Bucking what appears a popular trend, I'd say Paraguay's eventual victory over Japan on penalties was in no way as hideous as suggested. On the brink of a historic World Cup quarter-final, every single player tried his heart out. And, unfortunately, both teams showed more invention and collective nous than England. Well done to the South Americans. But let's look ahead now. Text me your Spain-Portugal thoughts on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide), or join the debate on 606. For example, can Torres sort his form out?

  4. SMS  

    Paul in London: "David Villa to prove tonight why he's regarded as the world's best striker."

  5. 18:30 Commentary  

    Teams are in: SPAIN: 1-Iker Casillas; 15-Sergio Ramos, 3-Gerard Pique, 5-Carles Puyol, 11-Joan Capdevila; 14-Xabi Alonso, 8-Xavi, 6-Andres Iniesta, 16-Sergio Busquets; 9-Fernando Torres, 7-David Villa. PORTUGAL: 1-Eduardo; 2-Bruno Alves, 21-Ricardo Costa, 6-Ricardo Carvalho, 23-Fabio Coentrao, 16-Raul Meireles, 15-Pepe, 19-Tiago, 7-Cristiano Ronaldo, 11-Simao Sabrosa, 18-Hugo Almeida.

  6. 18:38 Commentary  

    Fernando Torres has looked like a man who's had two knee operations in the past few months at this World Cup. But he starts. Good on Spain boss Del Bosque. He knows class is permanent. It's as you were actually, after their victory over Chile. Portugal are back to their first-choice XI after the bore draw with Brazil. Simao Sabrosa returns in place of Duda, and Hugo Almeida is restored to the attack. Less than an hour until kick off in Cape Town.

  7. 606  

    Alexandereski: "Tonight will be, possibly: a) good football, b) boring as one side nullifies the other, or c) a mass audition for a Shakespearean tragedy."

  8. 18:52 Commentary  

    You must take a look at this map of the route to the final. It's frightening. Well, what I mean is that Spain might meet Argentina in the semis. Yep, frightening. Xavi against Messi. Torres against, erm, Gutierrez. What an incredible match that would be, and I do stress would. Don't want to get ahead of ourselves do we? That fixture (next Wednesday) could be Germany against Paraguay.

  9. SMS  

    Wayne in Northern Ireland: "Spain have more match-winning players, and a greater depth of squad, than Portugal. They also have the averageness of Torres just waiting to hit some form, possibly tonight?"

  10. 19:00 Commentary  

    That's it from me Chris Whyatt, punching over a short incisive pass infield a la Andres Iniesta to Jonathan Stevenson in Johannesburg. What will he do with it?

  11. 19:04 Commentary  

    Mis-controlled, ran out of play. Classic Jonathan Stevenson. Anyway, I think this is probably the most excited I’ve been before a World Cup game since, ooh, maybe the final four years ago. Welcome back to the host city of this year’s final, Joburg - refresh your page and let the mayhem ensue.

  12. 19:06 Commentary  

    Let’s start with a stat: Spain and Portugal have NEVER met in a World Cup game before, I kid you not. They have met in a major competition before though, twice – in Euro 1984 they drew 1-1 in the group stage, while at Euro 2004 Portugal won 1-0 thanks to a Nuno Gomes goal. That was the last time these boys went tete-a-tete.

  13. 19:09 Commentary  

    Are you seriously telling me you’ve got nothing to say about Spain or Portugal or the World Cup? I steadfastly refuse to believe you. Empty your thoughts thus: by tweeting, as people do these days @Stevo_football; by texting, which people did more before Twitter came along, to 81111 (UK) and +44 7786200666 (worldwide); and on the 606 page of truth, which will ever be so.

  14. Contributor BBC Sport's Chris Bevan  

    "Fantastic atmosphere at Cape Town Stadium already - Spanish and Portugal fans are here in numbers tonight. I'm sat next to Alan Shearer, who predicts a tight win for the European champions - 2-1 or 1-0. I think he's right, this one is going to be very close indeed."

  15. Contributor BBC Sport's Jurgen Klinsmann  

    "We expect Spain to control the game and so the only way to beat them is to play quickly on the break."

  16. 606  

    From Dave: "Two defensive formations here. Very little width in the Spanish team and Busquets and Alonso will probably sit very deep. Portugal have six defenders in their starting line-up. Wouldn't surprise me if this went to penos after 120 minutes of tactical chess aka tedium."

  17. 19:15 Commentary Legendary Spanish pundit Guillem Balague:  

    "I exchanged text messages with a few of the Spain players before the game. They would have preferred to play Japan in the quarter-final, should they get through. As for Spain's rivalry with Portugal? It's like Chelsea and Fulham. Not that big a deal."

  18. 19:17 Commentary  

    Two years ago today, Spain ended 44 years of hurt by winning Euro 2008, rounding off a glorious tournament with a Fernando Torres goal in a 1-0 victory over Germany. But today, debate rages in Spain as to whether a nowhere-near fully-fit Torres should even be in the team. And here’s a sentence you never thought you’d read: some esteemed pundits have even dared to compare the Liverpool frontman with England carthorse Emile Heskey. Which makes me ponder this: If Torres is El Nino, what weather phenomenon best describes Heskey?

  19. Twitter  

    From hemil_3000: "I want Spain to win to see a Spain-Argentina semi-final. Imagine, what will Messi think of playing against his Barcelona team?"

  20. 19:20 Commentary Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz:  

    “It is a regional rivalry between the teams and it is also a social, cultural and historical rivalry between two nations. Therefore the game between Portugal and Spain is always a mouth-watering game, I'm sure of that. Just like 'derbies' between, say, England and Germany."

  21. 19:21 Commentary Spain coach Vicente del Bosque:  

    “I don't think we should become obsessed with Ronaldo. We have to centre our attention on Portugal as a team because they have shown defensively and offensively that they are a very competent squad. Thanks to the work carried out by their coach, Carlos Queiroz, they have come to this World Cup in top form.”

  22. Contributor BBC Sport's Jurgen Klinsmann  

    "Cristiano Ronaldo will want to show people around the world that he is better than Lionel Messi. He is having a very good tournament so far, but now is the moment to step it up a level. He seems very disciplined."

  23. 19:24 Commentary  

    Led by the referee, Argentine Hector Baldassi, and the captains, Iker Casillas of Spain and Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal, the teams emerge at the Cape Town Stadium. Oh it's almost too exciting. Get the anthems in.

  24. Contributor BBC Sport's Chris Bevan  

    "I arrived a bit later than usual for this game, mainly because I was talking to Jurgen Klinsmann beforehand, with him telling me how England can learn from the way he helped German football bounce back after they had a disastrous tournament at Euro 2004. That is not the kind of conversation you want to rush away from, obviously, but it meant I had to battle through throngs of Portuguese and Spanish fans on my way into the ground - for this, my first Iberian derby. I'd been told it's along the lines of Brazil-Argentina and England-Germany and, with a billing like that, it surely can't be a game that will disappoint, can it?"

  25. 19:28 Commentary Legendary Spanish pundit Guillem Balague:  

    "Even if Xabi Alonso had been injured, Cesc Fabregas would still not have started. It's his second World Cup for Spain and he's having a frustrating time."

  26. 19:30 KICK-OFF Spain v Portugal  

    Cristiano Ronaldo and Iker Casillas (captaining his country for the 51st time tonight, a new national record), team-mates at Real Madrid, shake hands, exchange pennants and embrace warmly, and then Hector Baldassi gets us under way in Cape Town. Come on.

  27. Contributor BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson  

    "Straight away it's Cristiano Ronaldo on the right and Simao on the left, so they've changed."

  28. 2 mins Commentary  

    Fernando Torres cuts in from the left and curls a shot goalwards for Spain, the out-of-form striker seeing his effort tipped away by a sprawling Eduardo.

  29. 3 mins Commentary  

    Whatever Fernando can do - David Villa cuts in from the Spain left this time and his shot bounces in front of Eduardo, who pushes it away from danger. Good, threatening start from the Euro 2008 champions.

  30. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor  

    "I deliberately counted. There were 19 passes in that Spain move."

  31. Contributor BBC Sport's Chris Bevan  

    "The first goal is going to be very important. Portugal simply hate conceding goals - they have kept clean sheets in 22 of their last 26 games. So, they are going to keep a tight ship, but if they score first, then expect them to park the bus. Spain? If they play to their potential, they will win. It’s as simple as that. The good news for them is that Fernando Torres and David Villa are looking very lively already."

  32. 7 mins Commentary  

    Pretty impressive start by Spain, I wonder when they'll let Portugal play with their ball too. David Villa again cuts in from the left and again shoots low, this time towards the near post, with Eduardo saving well.

  33. 9 mins Commentary  

    Better from Portugal as they get the ball in the Spain area a couple of times, but nothing comes of it. They look a bit more settled, though.

  34. 10 mins Commentary  

    Cristiano Ronaldo finds some space and flings over a cross from the Portuguese right, but it's a bit too far ahead of Hugo Almeida and runs out of play.

  35. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor  

    "There are some opportunities, perhaps half-chances, now falling to Portugal. Let's hope it continues. We don’t want to see any more dull football at this World Cup."

  36. 12 mins Commentary  

    Xavi turns sharply on a sixpence and whips a shot just over from a quickly-taken corner from the Spain right.

  37. SMS  

    From Terry, Chichester. "(See 19:17) Weather system to describe Emile Heskey? The gulf (in class) stream."

  38. 16 mins Commentary  

    Spain look quite happy just popping the ball around the surface in Cape Town, they're back into their usual rhythm, but so far there's no end product.

  39. Contributor BBC Sport's Chris Bevan  

    "Spain just keep coming forward, playing the slick passing game they are so good at, and they have already brought three good saves out of Eduardo. They also had a penalty shout turned down when Fabio Coentrao blocked off Fernando Torres but Alan Shearer, sat to my right, felt it was nailed on. He’s currently singing the praises of David Villa, by the way."

  40. 18 mins Commentary  

    Cristiano Ronaldo tries a free-kick from fully 40 yards, out to the left, but it bounces into the arms of Iker Casillas. Ronaldo should really know better than to try and beat Casillas from there.

  41. 20 mins Commentary  

    Xavi finds Fernando Torres on the right-hand angle of the Portugal penalty area, but he doesn't look like he knows what  to do and after a couple of stepovers, the two defenders standing in his way mop up with minimum fuss.

  42. 21 mins Commentary  

    Fabio Coentrao, the best left-back at the World Cup, starts a great move for Portugal with a brilliant run into the Spain half and when he tees up Tiago, his 25-yard blast is pushed into the air by Iker Casillas. When it drops, Casillas has to get back quickly to push it away from a leaping Hugo Almeida. Nervy moments for the Spanish.

  43. Twitter  

    From JonesMike101: "He's the Portuguese Gareth Bale, young Fabio Coentrao. Up and down that line like lightning. Smooth name too."

  44. 25 mins Commentary  

    Almost a gorgeous passing move from Spain, but Xavi's pass into the area on the left is a fraction too heavy for David Villa to reel in and it goes out of play.

  45. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor  

    "It's almost as if Portugal are saying: 'Whilst you've got the ball in front of us, we're not that bothered.' Spain ought to release their forward pass a little bit earlier. That would cause them more problems."

  46. 28 mins Commentary  

    Hmm. Cristiano Ronaldo fizzes one in from 37 yards (telly just told me) and it's moving about all over the place - Iker Casillas cannot hold it and Gerard Pique has to get in quickly to head away. Ooh, that cheeky Jabulani.

  47. 31 mins Commentary  

    It might still be goalless, but it's utterly absorbing in Cape Town. They are still feeling each other out a little, as Xavi tries to get the ball to bend back in from 25 yards but watches the Jabulani fly straight as a die out of play.

  48. SMS  

    Sam, Glastonbury: "Who is this imposter and what have you done with the real Andreas Iniesta?"

  49. Contributor BBC Sport's Chris Bevan  

    "You’ve got to feel sorry for Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who is having to deal with a) Cristiano Ronaldo free-kicks and b) this World Cup ball - it moves around enough as it is, without the £80m man pinging them in from ridiculous distances. The bad news for Casillas is that Ronaldo seems to be finding his range too."

  50. 36 mins Commentary  

    Spain are still knocking it around, but there's not much tempo to the game as there was in the early stages. Portugal are proving once again they are a very difficult team to try and play through.

  51. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor  

    "Twice now, probably more, Alonso has mis-controlled the ball. But his desire to win it back is absolutely first-class. I can only assume he learnt that in the Premier League."

  52. 39 mins Commentary  

    It's looking a little like the Switzerland game at the moment, worryingly for Spain. They have pressed for the last 10 minutes, yet it is Portugal who attack, Simao who crosses, and Hugo Almeida who heads wide from six yards when he probably should have scored.

  53. 41 mins Commentary  

    Portugal are committing fouls in clever areas of the pitch and stealing the ball back when Spain try to attack, it's a very intelligent performance from Carlos Queiroz's side at the moment.

  54. Contributor BBC Sport's Chris Bevan  

    "'Portugal aren’t pretty but they are very stubborn.' That’s what Alan Shearer just told me to write anyway, and I can't help but agree. I note that Portugal have 11 men behind the ball - can Spain break them down? 'It might take time but they’re relentless. They just keep chipping away.'"

  55. 43 mins Commentary  

    Very good goalkeeping from Iker Casillas - after Eduardo claims a corner he throws it out very quickly and with the Spanish defenders dawdling, Casillas races 35 yards out of his goal to boot it out. When Portugal take the quick throw, the cross is headed wide by Tiago. Going forward, they are by far the more dangerous of the two teams.

  56. 44 mins Commentary  

    Spain are getting desperate already - Gerard Pique tries a right-foot shot from 30 yards, but it hits a defender.

  57. 45 mins INJURY TIME  

    Andres Iniesta nips into some space and finds Fernando Torres, but his movement is a bit sluggish and Ricardo Carvalho mops up with ease. Into a minute of added time.

  58. 20:16 HALF-TIME Spain 0-0 Portugal  

    It's not dull, that's for sure, but it hasn't yet come to life. Portugal will be the happier of the two teams.

  59. Contributor BBC Sport's Alan Hansen  

    "It's very watchable. Portugal survived a Spanish onslaught at the start, but then the Portuguese came right back into it and had the better of the chances. Also, Iker Casillas has looked very edgy."

  60. Contributor BBC Sport's Jurgen Klinsmann  

    "What has surprised me is that after a bright start David Villa has not been in the game. And if he isn't, he should swap sides, because they are doubling up on him on the left now."

  61. Contributor BBC Sport's Chris Bevan  

    "Alan Shearer just told me he would have buried both those Portuguese headed chances before half-time and I have to agree with him (he is sitting next to me after all). Spain might have had the lions' share of possession and created most of the openings but they could easily be behind. As it stands, this game is finely poised at the break, and the Portuguese resistance shows no sign of breaking. In fact, Spain look more likely to crack first."

  62. 606  

    From IonicJohn: "Spain need to do a lot more than this in order to win the match. Portugal are just waiting to steal this game on one successful counter-attack."

  63. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor  

    "Sometimes Ronaldo can try too hard. But that doesn’t serve a purpose, as he tends to hold onto the ball instead of releasing it earlier. This is a game on edge - and it can go either way."

  64. SMS  

    Isabel, Sunbury: "Sick and tired of all the comments about Spain. Portugal are playing well and a clever game, we have just as many chances of winning. Let's not forget we finished fourth in the last World Cup and are currently number three in Fifa's world ranking. Come on Portugal!!! We can do it boys."

  65. 20:34 Commentary Spain 0-0 Portugal  

    Back under way after an 18-minute interval in Cape Town. Get in touch will you, by the way? Send us a text to 81111 (UK) and +44 7786200666 (worldwide); hit me a tweet @Stevo_football and join in the fun on 606. Do it for Iberia.

  66. 47 mins Commentary  

    Same same. Spain have ball, Spain try to create an opening, Portugal counter with pace. Fabio Coentrao tackles Fernando Torres expertly - Torres is so out of sorts.

  67. 49 mins Commentary  

    Just for a split-second it looks like Andres Iniesta might have a shooting chance on the edge of the Portugal box, but Raul Meireles gets in double fast to nick the ball away.

  68. Twitter  

    From thekingofnothin: "This is crying out for Navas, Silva, Mata or Pedro to give the Spanish some width, stretch the game and free Villa up more."

  69. 52 mins Commentary  

    Ooof that was close. Portugal break with electric pace again and Hugo Almeida's cross from the left is deflected by Carles Puyol - it loops horribly into the air and for a second Iker Casillas thinks it is falling in, but it's inches wide of the far post.

  70. 54 mins Commentary  

    Spain are being so patient trying to work an opening and David Villa tees up Andres Iniesta on the edge of the box, but his shot is blocked. Portugal are working their collective socks off.

  71. Contributor BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson  

    "They are extremely well-drilled, Portugal - they funnel everyone down the middle and make it hard for Spain to play through them. But Spain have got to come up with something different."

  72. 57 mins Commentary  

    David Villa tries to play a one-two with Andres Iniesta, but the striker goes to ground too easily and there's nothing doing for referee Hector Baldassi.

  73. 59 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    A substitution apiece - Portugal send on Danny for Hugo Almeida, while Spain curiously haul off Fernando Torres and bring on like-for-like Fernando Llorente.

  74. 606  

    From PanasonicVieira: "Spain need to get Ramos and Capdevila to be more advanced and supply width. Otherwise it's comfortable for Portugal."

  75. 61 mins Commentary  

    My word that's a chance for a young man to make his name. Fernando Llorente gets on the end of a Sergio Ramos cross from the right but his header is straight at Eduardo from five yards, while moments later David Villa drills narrowly wide from 22 yards. Good spell from the Spanish.

  76. 63 mins GOAL Spain 1-0 Portugal  

    It feels like Euro 2008 again. Spain play some quickfire passes on the edge of the box, with Andres Inietsa at the heart of it, and after Xavi's flick puts David Villa in on the left, his first shot is saved by Eduardo and his second hits the underside of the bar and bounces the right side of the line for Spain.

  77. 65 mins Commentary  

    There is just a slight doubt over whether David Villa was onside from Xavi's flick, but maybe the assistant just wanted to see Portugal come out and play?

  78. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor  

    "The intricacy of Spain's movement and passing there - the intricacy of that back-flick. Very, very good."

  79. 68 mins Commentary  

    So, no clean sheet for Portugal today, after 20 in 24 games since Carlos Queiroz took over. But what can the former Real Madrid boss conjure up in an attacking sense? Cristiano Ronaldo has hardly had a kick this half.

  80. Contributor BBC Sport's Chris Bevan  

    "That goal was just what this game needed. It seemed that Portugal were choking the life out of the Spaniards but Fernando Llorente’s introduction brought Vicente del Bosque's side to life and, after a flurry of chances, David Villa has given them that vital first goal. Time to see what Portugal have got in the locker when they have to come out and attack rather than simply soak up pressure - things should get very interesting from here on in."

  81. 70 mins Commentary  

    Now it's Spain's turn to break with pace as Andres Iniesta sends Sergio Ramos away down the right and he cuts inside, cuts on to his left foot and slams a shot towards the far corner that Eduardo tips behind for a corner.

  82. 72 mins Commentary  

    Portugal make a double substitution, with Pepe and Simao coming off and Pedro Mendes and Liedson coming on instead.

  83. Contributor BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson  

    "I can only think that those changes are to try and get more service to Cristiano Ronaldo, because he hasn't had the ball at all."

  84. 74 mins YELLOW CARD  

    Spain pick up their first yellow card of the tournament - and first since a friendly against France on 3 March, after Xabi Alonso brings down Pedro Mendes.

  85. SMS  

    Mauricio Espinosa, linesman: "I think you'll find that Villa's goal hit the wrong side of the line."

  86. 76 mins Commentary  

    Portugal have some space to attack down their left, but as Fabio Coentrao  bombs on from left-back, Carles Puyol gets in one of his magnificently timed tackles and before you know it, the ball is back with Iker Casillas. He's made a living out of those.

  87. 77 mins Commentary  

    It's probably fair to say David Villa knows how to hit a football. From all of 30 yards he connects with one properly and it hurtles towards goal, Eduardo managing to react quickly enough to parry it away. Crikey that was travelling.

  88. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Darren Fletcher  

    "Since the goal, Sergio Ramos is almost playing as an outside-right for Spain."

  89. 79 mins YELLOW CARD  

    Portugal are running out of time in Cape Town. Though to be fair to them, at 1-0 down against one of the best teams in history at keeping the ball, this probably isn't much fun. Tiago is booked for fouling David Villa.

  90. Twitter  

    From araevoi: "Bad management by Queiroz. Ronaldo's talents & energy are wasted lying in wait so high up the pitch for 'that' chance."

  91. 83 mins Commentary  

    Portugal get the ball, but Pedro Mendes asks way too much of Cristiano Ronaldo and within the blink of an eye Spain have it back.

  92. Contributor BBC Sport's Chris Bevan  

    "Portugal are looking a bit desperate to me now - and they are struggling to get the ball off Spain, let alone create chances for an equaliser. Alan Shearer has been very impressed by the Spanish approach tonight. 'They have got loads of confidence now after scoring but you still have to admire the way they have been passing it around all game - it is awesome.'"

  93. 85 mins Commentary  

    Cristiano Ronaldo chests down a long pass and gets inside Joan Capdevila, only to go down under a challenge from the defender - but there's no free-kick for the £80m man, and he rightly looks a little aggrieved.

  94. 87 mins Commentary  

    David Villa swings a cross over from the left and Fernando Llorente's header drifts inches wide of Eduardo's left-hand post. They probably deserve to win by a couple, Spain - Portugal have offered so little.

  95. 88 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    Spain striker David Villa gets a great ovation as he makes way for the last few moments, with Pedro coming on. Suddenly there's a chance for Portugal, but Danny's shot from 18 yards is brilliantly blocked by Joan Capdevila.

  96. 89 mins RED CARD Ricardo Costa (Portugal)  

    This is unseemly. Joan Capdevila goes down under a suspected off-the-ball challenge from Costa, and the referee shows a red card to the Portugal defender. Initial replays don't seem to show anything, but it's not very clear at the moment.

  97. 90 mins INJURY TIME  

    We're into three minutes of injury time in Cape Town. Shame so many games have to end like this, isn't it?

  98. 90 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    Bruno Alves is furious with Joan Capdevila - there's no doubt Portugal think the full-back got Ricardo Costa sent off. Spain take Xabi Alonso off and send on Carlos Marchena. Seconds remaining.

  99. 21:22 FULL-TIME Spain 1-0 Portugal  

    Horrible end to the game, but the right team have gone through. Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal's World Cup is over.

  100. 21:24 Commentary  

    Spain's players are absolutely delighted, but Portugal keeper Eduardo is inconsolable on the ground. 

  101. Contributor BBC Sport's Alan Hansen  

    "I'm delighted, because it's undoubtedly a victory for attacking football. Portugal defended brilliantly, but they didn't know how to chase the game."

  102. Contributor BBC Sport's Jurgen Klinsmann  

    "It must have been so frustrating for Cristiano Ronaldo, he had no service and no goalscoring chances. Why did they not have a Plan B for being 1-0 down against Spain? I don't understand."

  103. 21:28 Commentary  

    OK, here's what I think about the sending off of Ricardo Costa: we cannot tell whether he makes contact with Joan Capdevila, but he does go to swing his elbow and he's been stupid at the very best. Capdevila's behaviour, on the other hand, is abhorrent - he goes down as if he's been killed, moves to get up a second later, and then goes down again as if he's been killed when he sees the referee coming over. It's disgusting.

  104. Contributor BBC Sport's Clarence Seedorf  

    "If he doesn't touch the player with his elbow, he's been sent off for intent."

  105. Contributor BBC Sport's Chris Bevan  

    "Impressive stuff by the Spanish, who had to be patient to wait for their chance against Portugal but never looked back once they had taken the lead. Fernando Torres may be out of sorts but David Villa cannot stop scoring and Spain are looking in ominous form as they move into the last eight. It might have been a different story had Portugal taken one of their first-half chances but ultimately they were second best to their Iberian neighbours on the night.

  106. Contributor Legendary Spanish pundit Guillem Balague:  

    "This was a show of maturity from Spain. You wait for your moment. There were a lot of question marks. Many of them were answered tonight. The debate begins now on whether Torres will start in the quarter-final."

  107. SMS  

    From Anon: "Spain might be a good team to watch football-wise, but I have seen them get two players sent off for no reason and I hate the way they ask the ref to card people."

    With you there. So needless.

  108. 21:38 Commentary World Cup quarter-finals:  

    Netherland v Brazil
    Uruguay v Ghana
    Germany v Argentina
    Paraguay v Spain

  109. Twitter  

    From FionnGM: "Capdevila was a disgrace. If that's a red card offence I'm switching allegiance from footie to dominoes."

  110. 21:42 Commentary  

    That's the last World Cup quarter-final all wrapped up, then: Paraguay v Spain, at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday at 1930 BST.

  111. 606  

    From The Kid from Fuenlabrada: "Torres will prove his worth when Spain (finally) play a team that likes to play football. He'll be very important against the likes of Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Holland, ie the true footballing nations of the world."

  112. 21:50 Commentary  

    Seems like there's no such thing as a totally happy ending in football, but tonight the best eight teams are left in the World Cup. I'm off - you got any ideas what I could do on Wednesday and Thursday? No, me neither. The withdrawal symptoms have started already. Night all.

By Chris Bevan, Cape Town

European champions Spain survived a stern test from Portugal to book their place in the quarter-finals of the World Cup through David Villa's goal.

Two years to the day since they beat Germany to triumph at Euro 2008, Vicente del Bosque's side showed their slick brand of passing football is still just as effective by edging out their well-drilled Iberian rivals.

Spain had to survive a succession of missed chances by the Portuguese in the first half but, once Villa broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute with his fourth goal of the tournament, they rarely looked threatened.

Portugal, semi-finalists in Germany four years ago, had Ricardo Costa sent off for an off-the-ball clash with Joan Capdevila before the end but by then their fate already looked sealed.

The only concern for Spain, who play Paraguay in the last eight, is the continuing lack of form shown by striker Fernando Torres, who seems to still be feeling the after-effects of the knee operation he had in April.

Torres did play his part in a bright start by Spain, cutting into the area and testing Eduardo with a curling shot, but he quickly faded and it was actually Portugal who had the best openings before half-time.

Villa had also brought a fine save out of Eduardo early on, while Xavi fired a first-time shot over from a corner but, after surviving those scares, Carlos Queiroz's side not only found a way of keeping Spain at arms length, they also began to threaten at the other end.

Twice Cristiano Ronaldo tried his luck from long range with free-kicks, and on the second occasion Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas could not hold on to the ball and Gerard Pique had to mop up.

Casillas looked jittery again when he parried a pile-driver by Tiago and had to race to beat Hugo Almeida to the ball, which was dropping towards the net.

Almeida somehow missed the target after rising to meet Simao's inviting deep cross, while Tiago wasted another good opening when he nodded wide from Fabio Coentrao's driven centre.

That should have acted as a warning for Spain, but they were caught on the break again early in the second half and were lucky to escape when Almeida's cross span off Carlos Puyol and looped just beyond the far post.

Portugual failed to seriously test Casillas again after that, but it still took the introduction of striker Fernando Llorente, who came off the bench for the ineffective Torres just before the hour mark, to spark Spain into life.

Within seconds, Llorente met a Sergio Ramos cross with a diving header that flew straight at Eduardo, who was relieved when Villa bent a shot round his post from the outside of the box soon afterwards.

You sensed the Spanish knew this was their moment and, in their next attack, Xavi's clever backheel played in Villa, who had his first shot saved but lifted the rebound into the roof of the net.

Del Bosque's men grew in confidence after taking the lead and, with Ronaldo anonymous, Portugal seemed short on ideas of how they could find an equaliser.

Spain should have added to their lead before the end, with Eduardo saving from Ramos and Villa, while the impressive Llorente headed wide.

But one goal was enough for them to secure victory and they look in good shape to go past the last eight, which is as far as they have progressed at a World Cup since they finished fourth in Brazil in 1950.

Spain Spain Flag 1-0 Portugal Flag Portugal FT

(HT 0-0)

Villa, 63






  • Venue: Green Point Stadium
  • Referee: H Baldassi
  • Attendance: 62,955
Spain     Portugal
  • Possession 62%
  • Attempts on target 12
  • Attempts off target 4
  • Corners 6
  • Fouls 11

Projected table based on current scores

Group A

Group A teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Uruguay 3 2 1 0 4 0 4 7
Mexico 3 1 1 1 3 2 1 4
South Africa 3 1 1 1 3 5 -2 4
France 3 0 1 2 1 4 -3 1

Group B

Group B teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Argentina 3 3 0 0 7 1 6 9
South Korea 3 1 1 1 5 6 -1 4
Greece 3 1 0 2 2 5 -3 3
Nigeria 3 0 1 2 3 5 -2 1

Group C

Group C teams P W D L F A GD PTS
USA 3 1 2 0 4 3 1 5
England 3 1 2 0 2 1 1 5
Slovenia 3 1 1 1 3 3 0 4
Algeria 3 0 1 2 0 2 -2 1

Group D

Group D teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Germany 3 2 0 1 5 1 4 6
Ghana 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4
Australia 3 1 1 1 3 6 -3 4
Serbia 3 1 0 2 2 3 -1 3

Group E

Group E teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Netherlands 3 3 0 0 5 1 4 9
Japan 3 2 0 1 4 2 2 6
Denmark 3 1 0 2 3 6 -3 3
Cameroon 3 0 0 3 2 5 -3 0

Group F

Group F teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Paraguay 3 1 2 0 3 1 2 5
Slovakia 3 1 1 1 4 5 -1 4
New Zealand 3 0 3 0 2 2 0 3
Italy 3 0 2 1 4 5 -1 2

Group G

Group G teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Brazil 3 2 1 0 5 2 3 7
Portugal 3 1 2 0 7 0 7 5
Ivory Coast 3 1 1 1 4 3 1 4
North Korea 3 0 0 3 1 12 -11 0

Group H

Group H teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Spain 3 2 0 1 4 2 2 6
Chile 3 2 0 1 3 2 1 6
Switzerland 3 1 1 1 1 1 0 4
Honduras 3 0 1 2 0 3 -3 1

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