Confederations Cup semi-finals
Brazil v Uruguay (Wednesday 26 June, Belo Horizonte)
Spain v Italy (Thursday 27 June, Fortaleza)
Spain set up a Confederations Cup semi-final reunion with Euro 2012 final victims Italy after beating Nigeria 3-0 in a steamy Castelao Stadium in Fortaleza on Monday morning to secure top spot in Group B.
In the morning’s other fixture, Uruguay was entirely untroubled as it belted minnows Tahiti 8-0.
Spain needed just a point to confirm a place in the last four, but it made doubly sure thanks to a fine brace of goals from Jordi Alba and a 62nd-minute header by substitute Fernando Torres.
The world and European champions will now face Italy, who they crushed 4-0 in last year’s Euro 2012 final, in the second semi-final in Fortaleza on Thursday, a day after Brazil meets Uruguay in Belo Horizonte.
Nigeria was ultimately left to rue last Thursday’s damaging 2-1 defeat by Uruguay, having begun its Confederations Cup campaign with a breezy 6-1 thrashing of Tahiti.
Uruguay secured its place in the Confederations Cup semi-finals with an 8-0 drubbing of Tahiti, featuring the fastest goal in the competition’s history.
The Confed Cup record-breaker at Recife’s Arena Pernambuco was Abel Hernandez, the Palermo striker heading in off Nicolas Lodeiro’s corner after just 79 seconds.
He went on to bag four, with Diego Perez, Lodeiro and Luis Suarez with a double, joining him on the scoresheet.
With this result following its record 10-0 loss to Spain and 6-1 defeat to Nigeria, Tahiti takes its leave of the competition while Uruguay goes on to face hosts Brazil in Belo Horizonte on Wednesday.
Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez had changed his entire starting XI for the South American champions’ decisive first round match.