(Reuters) – World champions Spain survived a first-half pounding by Nigeria before securing their place in the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup with a 3-0 win over the African champions who were eliminated from the tournament on Sunday.
A superb individual goal from Jordi Alba, one of eight Barcelona players in the starting lineup, put Spain ahead after only three minutes before Fernando Torres took his tournament tally to five with a 62nd minute diving header, three minutes after replacing Roberto Soldado.
Spain were given a good examination by a hard-running Nigeria for most of the first half, but poor finishing cost the Super Eagles any chance of a victory. Alba rounded off Spain’s win with his second goal in the 88th minute.
Spain took almost total control after the restart and will face Italy, who they beat 4-0 in last year’s Euro 2012 final, in Thursday’s semi-final in Fortaleza