Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has backed Roberto Soldado after the striker failed to score in the world champions' 3-0 win over Nigeria.
Del Bosque started Soldado in Spain's third Confederations Cup group game on Sunday, seemingly confirming that the Valencia forward is his preferred man to play in the middle of the front three, ahead of Chelsea's Fernando Torres and David Villa of Barcelona.
Villa and Torres both scored hat-tricks against Tahiti after starting but were dropped back to the bench against Nigeria.
Soldado, who started and scored in Spain's opening win over Uruguay, failed to hit the back of the net against Nigeria, while Torres and Villa both came off the bench to notch a goal and an assist respectively, but del Bosque made it clear he believed his starting striker had done a good job.
"Roberto has done his job and Fernando has done his," del Bosque said after Sunday's game in Fortaleza.
"A team needs fresh legs.
"Soldado had a couple of good plays where he was in front of the goalkeeper.
"We're happy with both (players)."
Del Bosque claimed Spain struggled with the heat against Nigeria but the 62-year-old coach praised his team's ability to conserve energy in Fortaleza.
"It was a tough match," del Bosque said.
"We had a great opponent and they managed to create a balance in possession, looking for victory.
"We had control, patience and I think this was an unfair result as both teams should have scored more.
"To have a balance between patience and all-out speed is very beneficial.
"We had two big opponents today, the heat and Nigeria.
"Playing 90 minutes in this heat and at this rhythm is impossible."
Spain will take on Italy in the Confederations Cup semi-finals after going through the group stage with a 100 percent record but full-back Jordi Alba, who scored twice against Nigeria, remains wary of Cesare Prandelli's side.
"Against a team like Italy you don't know what to expect," the 24-year-old said.
"They're organized at the back and they're great on the ball.
"They'll be tough on us, the way they always have been.
"We need to maintain our style of play and post a clean sheet at the back."
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi said his squad improved in Brazil, despite their group-stage exit from the tournament.
"It's been a learning curve for us. This is a team that is not used to going down 2-0," Keshi said.
"They lost the shape of the team, and everything was going everywhere. I think that was the major problem, mostly in the second half.
"In the first half we were very composed, the tactical play was there. But in the second half, when the conceded the second goal they became unprofessional, which is all about experience which is going to come later."
Keshi was under no illusions the result was somewhat out of their hands given Spain's pitch-wide quality.
"We lost the match because we played against a better side, a team that have been together for a very long time," he said.
"It's been a learning process for us. We just need to continue from our strong start tonight and build on that.
"The professionalism of the teams and the coaches that I have spoken with, the insight and tactical play of the teams in the tournament has been very educational.
"I think we are going to go back with some level of education."
|10||J. Obi Mikel|
|Coach: S. Keshi|
for K. Omeruo 11'
for S. Mba 63'
for J. Akpala 71'
|Goalless Muller was the best player, says Ancelotti after thrashing|
|Phil Neville backs Rashford to match Griezmann|
|Juventus 2 Empoli 0: Champions cruise to 10-point gap at summit|
|Howe refusing to panic as Bournemouth´s struggles continue|
|Zarate was making the difference before injury - Mazzarri|
|I owe him my eternal gratitude - Vardy´s emotional Ranieri tribute|
|Cantona: Ibrahimovic is like me|
|Watford 1 West Ham 1: Ayew halts injury-hit hosts|
|Napoli 0 Atalanta 2: Caldara double stuns Sarri´s men|
|Ancelotti: It was a perfect day|
|Championship review: Newcastle drop points, Leeds clip Owls´ wings|
|Allardyce hails Van Aanholt and Sakho|
|Koeman lays into ´lucky´ Everton´s second-half display|
|Conte: We still need 29 points for Premier League title|
|We need an Aubameyang who does not think too much - Tuchel|
|Guingamp 1 Monaco 2: Glik, Fabinho on target|
|Marco Silva blames lack of focus as Hull remain in drop zone|
|Lukaku becomes Everton´s joint leading Premier League scorer|
|Real Betis 1 Sevilla 2: Sampaoli´s men heap pressure on Real Madrid|
|RB Leipzig 3 Cologne 1: Hosts capitalise on errors to stay hot on Bayern´s heels|
|Hull City 1 Burnley 1: Keane on target as 10-man Clarets end dire away run|
|Chelsea 3 Swansea City 1: Fabianski´s error helps Premier League leaders move 11 points clear|
|Neuer reaches 100 Bundesliga clean sheets for Bayern in record-breaking fashion|
|Everton 2 Sunderland 0: Unhappy Goodison return for Moyes as Lukaku wraps it up|
|West Brom 2 Bournemouth 1: McAuley winner piles pressure on Howe|
|Crystal Palace 1 Middlesbrough 0: Van Aanholt proves difference in nervy basement battle|
|Luis Enrique dismisses claims of dressing room discontent at Barcelona|
|Bayern Munich 8 Hamburg 0: Lewandowski hits hat-trick in special day for Ancelotti|
|Freiburg 0 Borussia Dortmund 3: Aubameyang back in the goals with a brace|
|#Piegate bites back as Sutton are forced to use outfield player in goal|
|Schmeichel denies players met with Leicester board to get Ranieri sacked|
|Spalletti would not swap Dzeko for Icardi|
|Emery understands Marseille rivalry and hopes PSG can repeat Barca win|
|Ibrahimovic better than ever and could play on until he turns 40 - Mourinho|
|Simeone: Barcelona still the best team in the world|
|A-League Review: Victory stay in Sydney hunt, Roar slip up at home|
|Zidane hopes potential France return will boost Benzema|
|I have not talked to anyone at Leicester - Mancini on replacing Ranieri|
|LaLiga teams raise their game against Real Madrid, claims Zidane|
|Arrivederci, Claudio! Ranieri says his final Leicester goodbyes|
|Soldado expects Real Madrid to come out fighting after Valencia loss|
|Montella hoping to remain AC Milan coach despite impending takeover|
|Valencia hopes EFL Cup triumph can inspire late title charge|
|Pele´s son vows to clear his name after being jailed for money laundering|
|Wijnaldum highlights Kante loss as crucial to Leicester´s downfall|
|Lyon rejected chance to sign Sakho, says Aulas|
|Koeman hopes Southampton lose EFL Cup final to boost Everton´s European hopes|
|Mata insists Manchester United will not take EFL Cup final for granted|
|Simeone´s Atletico starting to decline, Abbiati claims|
|Chelsea´s Fabregas ´100 per cent´ staying at Stamford Bridge|
|´Being Joey´ - Dyche talks up Barton TV show|
|Messi the best of all time, says Jovetic|
|You can define an era - Buffon wishes Donnarumma happy birthday|
|Clement: Llorente wants to star against Chelsea|
|Koeman not interested in Everton renewal amid Barca links|
|Rivals scared of Ibrahimovic, says United team-mate Herrera|
|Schmeichel pays tribute to Ranieri|
|Yaya Toure wants to play with Neymar and Coutinho|
|Mourinho: It´s more difficult to win now|
|I didn´t sleep for six days – Conte motivated by last-gasp title loss|
|It all depends on success - Klopp knows trophies are a must|
|Barkley targets finishing above Liverpool|
|Championship Review: Birmingham ease pressure on Zola with derby win|
|Mourinho could start Rooney in EFL Cup final|
|Comeback kid Le Bihan moves Nice level with Monaco|
|Leicester job an amazing opportunity - Rowett pitches to replace Ranieri|
|Deschamps free to pick Benzema, Le Graet reveals|
|Valencia request new time for Barcelona fixture|
|Rabona-fide brilliance! Watch Kovacic´s marvellous strike in Real Madrid training|
|Hull´s Silva cools Hernandez CSL rumours|
|Frustrated Allardyce accepts Palace players are struggling|
|Sampaoli tells Sevilla to learn from Real Madrid errors in ´most important game of the year´|
|Raiola ready to cut off Balotelli´s tongue after latest red card|
|My dream died after Leicester sack - Ranieri|
|Schalke sign Bentaleb from Tottenham|
|Puel welcomes Mkhitaryan´s EFL Cup final absence|
|Arsenal chairman concedes Gunners are playing for pride against Bayern|
|Melbourne City 1 Sydney FC 3: Bobo double helps leaders back to winning ways|
|Kohler refuses to write off Gotze|
|Ranieri will be remembered in 2,000 years, says Mancini|
|You don´t owe anyone - Henry tells Rooney to make China move if it makes him happy|
|I was not an Italian spy! - No ulterior motive for Conte in Eddie Jones meeting|
|Inter coach Pioli expects tight Roma clash|
|Mourinho: Leicester should name stadium after Ranieri|
|Conte: Ancelotti the best Italian coach in the world|
|Carrick in, Mkhitaryan out for Manchester United in EFL Cup final|
|Klopp compares Ranieri sacking to Trump, Brexit triumphs|
|Ranieri did not lose Leicester dressing room, insists Shakespeare|
|Conte willing to risk sack to lead Chelsea to Premier League glory|
|Disapponting for managers around the world - Premier League bosses react to Ranieri sacking|
|Ribery ready for Bayern Munich comeback|
|Celtic fined for Manchester City crowd trouble|
|Vardy´s goal decline and Mahrez´s assist struggles: The Opta stats behind Ranieri´s Leicester demise|
|Bayern boss Ancelotti vows never to repeat middle finger gesture|
|Medel urges Sanchez to quit Arsenal for Inter|
|Europa League draw: Manchester United to play Rostov, Lyon v Roma|
|Aubameyang dry spell worries me - Tuchel|
|Varane a doubt for Napoli as Real Madrid confirm muscle injury|
|Leicester job favourite Mancini: I am sorry for my friend Ranieri|
|Allegri welcomes back Bonucci following apology|
|Montella targets lengthy AC Milan stay|
|Lineker cries after Ranieri is sacked|
|Ranieri sacking ´the biggest shock in a decade´|
|Wenger ´witch-hunt´ has gone too far, says Bilic|
|Lewandowski better than Benzema, Suarez, Costa - Matthaus|
|Sticks and Stones may break my bones - Man City defender unhurt by criticism|
|Atletico Madrid v Barcelona: Simeone´s men primed to land on punch-drunk Barca|
|Pogba no machine like Messi or Ronaldo, says Mata|
|Oxlade-Chamberlain adamant Arsenal ´more than capable of competing for title´|
|Monaco star Falcao was almost lost to baseball|
|FC Dallas 4 Arabe Unido 0: Champions League semis beckon for Americans|
|No gratitude in football - Spalletti saddened by Ranieri sacking|
|Alli not to blame for Tottenham´s Europa League exit - Pochettino|
|Mourinho pays tribute to axed Leicester boss Ranieri|
|Europa League Review: Spurs crash out, Stindl stuns Fiorentina, Lyon destroy AZ in record-equalling|
|Bastia punished over Balotelli abuse|
|Eriksen blames Tottenham´s shock Europa League exit on poor finishing|