Spain put in a classy performance to get their Confederations Cup campaign off to a winning start against Uruguay with a 2-1 win in at the Arena Pernambuco.
The reigning world and European champions were in complete control and won over local fans with their stylish football seeing them find the net twice in the first half through Pedro and Roberto Soldado. Though the crowd became frustrated at times, the Europeans took their foot off the gas but an exquisite Luis Suarez free kick late on proved just a consolation.
Vicente del Bosque elected to start with Iker Casillas in goal for his side, despite the keeper not appearing for Real Madrid since January. The 62-year-old also opted to begin with Soldado in attack and the Valencia man almost repaid his coach's faith within five minutes, however he was unable to turn Jordi Alba's cross in at the back post.
La Roja monopolised possession in the opening stages and in the 10th minute a quick attacking injection caught Uruguay off guard. Andres Iniesta's dummy let the ball roll through to his Barcelona team-mate Cesc Fabregas, who was denied a goal when his low shot crashed against the foot of the post.
Oscar Tabarez's men were struggling to cope with the crisp, interlinking passing of the Spaniards in the final third. It took two attempts for Fernando Muslera to keep out an effort from Iniesta after a lovely move at the top of the box six minutes later.
It seemed an inevitability that Spain would find the net and that is precisely what happened in the 20th minute. Pedro's sublimely-struck effort looked to be heading for the bottom corner but a deflection off of Lugano made sure it found the net by redirecting it past the already-committed Muslera.
Uruguay began to rile their opponents and almost stole a goal through Edinson Cavani with a well-worked free kick routine, but the World Cup holders re-asserted themselves by doubling their advantage soon after.
A tremendous disguised pass from Fabregas picked out Soldado with space to take a touch on the edge of the area before guiding the ball past Muslera confidently just after the half hour mark.
Spain's relentless pressing made it difficult for Uruguay to get any respite and it took a brilliant reflex save from their keeper in order to keep out Gerard Pique's header before the break.
After the interval it was more of the same from la Roja, as Soldado and Iniesta both came close to adding their team's third but neither were able to pull a save from Muslera.
There was less urgency from Del Bosque's men in comparison to the first half but their incessant passing was stopping Suarez and Cavani from having any impact on the game. A tame volley from Pedro in the 64th minute that went wide of the post was their only subsequent effort.
They certainly paid the price as Suarez conjured up a moment of sheer magic when he bent an immensely-precise free kick inside Casillas' near post from in excess of 25 yards, but la Roja held on in a nervy end to the game.
Victory ensures Spain go to the top of the Group B with three points but that could change depending on the result of tomorrow's fixture between the group's other contenders, Nigeria and Tahiti.
|Coach: Del Bosque|
for Fàbregas 65'
for Xavi 77'
for Pedro 81'
|Higuain rejects extension from Napoli|
|Zamora returns to Brighton|
|West Ham can cope without Valencia - Gold|
|Wickham loses on Palace debut|
|Guardiola: No problem with Matthaus and Effenberg comments|
|Cartabia excited by Deportivo loan|
|Lyon confirm Rafael deal|
|Hysaj agrees deal to follow Sarri to Napoli|
|Rafael says his goodbyes to Manchester United|
|Dos Santos ready to get going with Galaxy|
|Pochettino rejects Soldado exit talk|
|Metatarsal misery for Mulumbu|
|Benitez: Benzema and Bale going nowhere|
|Mihajlovic: Ibrahimovic would make Milan title contenders|
|Hughes not taking any risks with Bojan|
|Guardiola relishing Audi Cup test|
|Di Maria ´taking a step up´ - Silva|
|Leicester bring in defender Benalouane|
|Deulofeu doubtful for Premier League opener|
|West Ham striker Valencia out for three months|
|UEFA: Qarabag-Celtic to go ahead|
|Palace seal Wickham swoop|
|Ronaldo and Benzema to miss Audi Cup|
|Marotta: Juventus could lose Pogba|
|Kante completes Leicester switch|
|Khedira ruled out for two months|
|FA accepts Mourinho criticism of Wembley surface|
|Robben rubbishes injury talk|
|Marchisio expects Milan title challenge|
|Rafael set for Lyon move|
|Celtic ´seeking reassurances´ over Qarabag pitch|
|Wenger beating Mourinho does not affect Chelsea - Zouma|
|Rooney moved by Everton welcome|
|Mancini not worried by lack of Inter goals|
|Coloccini wants to finish career at Newcastle - McClaren|
|Ramsey: Pressure to win trophies is nothing new|
|Terry: Wembley defeat could be a ´blessing in disguise´|
|Blatter not running for IOC re-election|
|Bendtner: Wolfsburg can challenge Bayern for Bundesliga honours|
|Liverpool relishing Britannia return, says Henderson|
|Everton big enough to keep Stones - Martinez|
|MLS Review: Fire stun Dallas as goals dry up|
|New Atletico signings excite Raul Garcia|
|Cahill expects Arsenal title challenge|
|Jovetic happy with Inter debut|
|Luis Enrique: Barca defence must improve|
|Yanev calls for calm after ugly scenes in friendly|
|Coppa Italia Review: Cittadella romp to victory, Brescia rely on penalties|
|Arsenal have learned how to play against big teams - Ramsey|
|Shawcross to visit specialist over back woe|
|Fiorentina 2 Barcelona 1: Bernardeschi double sends Barca to another defeat|
|Mancini hints at Melo interest|
|Rodgers hails ´incredible´ Benteke strike|
|Galatasary 1 Inter 0: Sneijder sinks former club|
|Wenger defends Arsenal approach|
|Wembley loss has no bearing on new season - Terry|
|Porto cruise to friendly win over Stoke|
|Mourinho denies Wenger ´snub´ suggestions|
|Arsenal abandoned their philosophy to win Community Shield - Mourinho|
|Mourinho throws Community Shield medal into Wembley crowd|
|Swindon Town 1 Liverpool 2: Benteke nets stunner on debut|
|Scottish Premiership Review: Hearts win thriller on top-flight return|
|Ujah at the double as Bremen beat West Ham|
|Mourinho: We were the better team|
|Wenger hails defensive solidity|
|Rooney returns as Villarreal spoil Ferguson´s party|
|Rodriguez stunner earns Southampton draw as Caulker makes debut|
|Arsenal 1 Chelsea 0: Case of 14th time lucky for Wenger against Mourinho|
|Taechaubol announces Milan agreement|
|Jojic fires Cologne to latest victory|
|China 0 South Korea 2: Kim and Lee seal victory|
|Origi getting up to speed|
|Costa a doubt for start of season - Mourinho|
|North Korea 2 Japan 1: Halilhodzic´s men spurn lead|
|Allam brands FA ´amateurs´ as name-change row rumbles on|
|Fournier ´worried´ by Lyon pre-season|
|Swansea still working on Michu exit - Monk|
|Neuer furious at Bayern Supercup defeat|
|Wenger: Ozil signing not a mistake|
|UEFA Champions League Preview: Shakhtar ready for Fenerbahce decider|
|Lampard targets MLS play-offs for City|
|MLS Review: Goals galore as DC United win 10-goal thriller|
|Ronaldinho returns and helps Fluminense to win|
|Keane: United won´t overtake Chelsea|
|Casillas has the ´enthusiasm of a 20-year-old´ - Lopetegui|
|Blanc hopeful over Ibrahimovic knee injury|
|Guardiola laments late goal in Supercup defeat|
|Tuchel plans to keep Bender|
|Hecking happy with Wolfsburg discipline after Supercup win|
|Arsenal players too interested in selfies and six-packs - Keane|
|Confusion over Ibrahimovic´s PSG future|