South Africa scored a large coup as they beat world and European champions Spain 1-0 on Tuesday night time.
Bernard Parker scored the one purpose of the sport early within the second half.
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The hosts attacked, as they’d achieved often, down the left, taking part in good soccer earlier than slipping in Parker to dink a end over Victor Valdes.
La Roja huffed and puffed afterwards however by no means got here near breaching Itumeleng Khune’s purpose till Raul Albiol drew a shocking save from him in stoppage time.
It was Spain’s first defeat since they misplaced to Brazil within the Confederations Cup in the summertime, and their first defeat in a pleasant since they misplaced to England in 2011.
Listed here are six issues we discovered from South Africa’s memorable night time.
It meant extra to Spain (at first)
On paper it was simply one other pleasant, however in actuality Spain’s journey to South Africa carried way more significance to the Spanish public than their earlier jaunts to Haiti, Puerto Rico and Saudi Arabia.
That is as a result of it marked the return to a floor the place their goals got here true.
“Watching it once more nonetheless offers me shivers,” Iker Casillas instructed AS on Tuesday, talking of his save from Arjen Robben which stored the 2010 World Cup remaining at 0-0.
Andres Iniesta would go on to attain an extra-time winner and Spain, not Holland, had been topped world champions in Johannesburg.
Tv, newspapers and web sites had been crammed with anecdotes and reminiscences within the build-up to La Roja’s return to South Africa.
Sadly a virtually empty stadium suggests the Bafana Bafana followers weren’t feeling as nostalgic.
However South Africa’s gamers weren’t caught within the nostalgia
When the house facet ultimately took the lead, it was in a method their extra illustrious guests would have been happy with.
A flowing transfer down the left resulted within the ball being shifted inside for Oupa Manyisa to launch Bernard Parker—the Kaizer Chiefs frontman then chipped the ball dwelling delightfully.
It wasn’t in opposition to the run of play both.
Manyisa had already hit the bar, Parker the facet netting and Tokelo Rantie and Daylon Classen had additionally appeared harmful.
It was nothing like a hit-and-run.
Questions over Spain’s defending?
The direct working and counter-attacks led by the likes of Lawrence Tshabalala and Rantie prompted the Spain again 4 issues all night.
Admittedly it was solely 50 % of Spain’s common again 4—Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba had been lacking—however Del Bosque may have been involved on the ease with which he noticed his facet opened up for the South African purpose.
Likewise, Sergio Busquets and Xabi Alonso weren’t with out faults.
Repeatedly Bafana Bafana’s forwards discovered house in between the traces to feed by way of balls or shoot from distance.
And however for an exquisite cease from Pepe Reina, Parker would have doubled the house facet’s lead.
David Villa nonetheless has an essential position to play
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David Villa isn’t the David Villa he was previous to his leg break on the World Membership Championship, but it surely’s clear he nonetheless has a component to play in Vicente del Bosque’s Spain squad.
He has the ball at the back of the online twice within the opening 10 minutes—each occasions falling foul of the offside flag.
And whereas it wasn’t a classic Villa efficiency—he was taken off across the hour mark—it could be a shock to not see him on the airplane to Brazil subsequent summer time.
However does Fernando Llorente?
It was one other disappointing night time dressed within the pink of Spain for Juventus striker Fernando Llorente.
Not anticipated essentially to offer the link-up play of a false 9 or a Villa, Llorente was sloppy in possession and, at occasions, appeared like he was on a unique planet to Andres Iniesta.
He’s anticipated to be good within the air and take his possibilities, although—he did neither when he headed an incredible probability broad after 27 minutes.
Llorente instructed AS this week that, in Diego Costa’s place, he would have opted to signify his personal nation.
Maybe that is as a result of he is feeling the warmth after one other clean retains him on seven objectives in his 23 caps.
Three goalkeepers and customary sense
For as soon as we are able to discuss of widespread sense in a soccer match.
Iker Casillas had performed the primary half for Spain and Victor Valdes changed him at half-time—nothing amiss there.
Nonetheless, with quarter-hour remaining—and La Roja having used up all their subs—Valdes wanted to get replaced.
Alvaro Arbeloa appeared set to take the gloves, however fortunately for Spain, Pepe Reina was allowed to come back on—not that South Africa supervisor Gordon Igesund appeared too in favour of honest play.