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'
|Allardyce understands fans´ frustration|
|Magath hopeful on trio´s return|
|Monk hails Bony contribution|
|Gerrard had given up on Premier League|
|MLS Wrap: Real Salt Lake remain unbeaten|
|Coupe de la Ligue win important, says Cavani|
|Garde: Referee cost us|
|Reus demands Dortmund momentum|
|Early goal crucial, says Wolfsburg´s Olic|
|Montella rejects talk of Fiorentina exit|
|Van Gaal arrival would ensure van Persie stay|
|Chiellini: ´We have to thank Roma´|
|Ruddy ready for nemesis Suarez|
|Maiden Milan header pleases Balotelli|
|Muller: Bayern fought well|
|Baines: Martinez backs Everton style|
|Garcia delighted with top-two finish|
|AFC Champions League Preview: All to play for in Group G|
|Copa Libertadores Preview: Gremio away at San Lorenzo|
|Serie A Wrap: Roma best Fiorentina but Juve remain clear at the top|
|Result all that counts for Blanc|
|Primeira Liga Wrap: Sporting win keeps Benfica waiting on title, Pacos thrashed at home|
|Coupe de la Ligue: Lyon 1 Paris Saint-Germain 2|
|La Liga Wrap: Late goals crucial for Real Sociedad, Valencia|
|Poyet wants Sunderland to earn survival reward|
|Livorno dismiss Di Carlo, re-hire Nicola|
|Conte thrilled with ´good step forward´|
|Championship Preview: Wigan out to thwart Burnley, Leicester on verge of title|
|O´Shea credits Poyet´s words|
|UEFA to announce Financial Fair Play findings next month|
|Bundesliga Wrap: Hamburg beaten, Freiburg see off Monchengladbach|
|Mourinho offers withering referee ´congratulations´|
|Klopp dismisses Barca rumours|
|Scottish Premiership Wrap: Sutton denies Celtic, Saints beat United|
|Premier League: Chelsea 1 Sunderland 2|
|Serie A: Juventus 1 Bologna 0|
|Lambert happy after ´difficult week´ ends well|
|Allardyce singles out Armero for costly error|
|Hughes disagrees with Cardiff penalty decision|
|Monk: Win proved Swansea are united|
|Pulis hails Palace unity|
|Penalty call lifted Cardiff, says Solskjaer|
|Pochettino blasts ´unexplainable´ penalty decision|
|Bayern need to be ´outstanding´ against Real, says Guardiola|
|Pardew stunned by late Bony winner|
|League Two Preview: Torquay set for the drop as relegation battle heats up|
|Football League Wrap: Millwall climb out of bottom three|
|Seedorf coy on Milan future|
|Mazzarri demands continued Inter focus|
|CAF Confederation Cup: Nkana 0 Bizertin 0|
|Premier League: Newcastle United 1 Swansea City 2|
|Premier League: Cardiff City 1 Stoke City 1|
|Premier League: West Ham 0 Crystal Palace 1|
|Premier League: Aston Villa 0 Southampton 0|
|Sherwood praises ´world-class´ Lloris|
|Bundesliga: Borussia Dortmund 4 Mainz 2|
|Bundesliga: Eintracht Braunschweig 0 Bayern Munich 2|
|Magath eyes home wins|
|League One Preview: Wolves poised to seal title|
|Serie A: Milan 3 Livorno 0|
|Serie A: Parma 0 Inter 2|
|Sandro must work hard, says Sherwood|
|Moyes holds Mata in high regard|
|Ranieri calls for Monaco response|
|Premier League: Tottenham 3 Fulham 1|
|Henry: Liverpool ahead of schedule|
|De Laurentiis: Hamsik not for sale|
|Martino ´not optimistic´ over Neymar return|
|Farina unsure over Del Piero future|
|Surgeon: Falcao may not be fully fit for Word Cup|
|Bruce pleads patience from Aluko|
|Wenger pays tribute to Giroud´s mental resolve|
|A-League: Central Coast Mariners 1 Adelaide United 0|
|Silva: PSG should have beaten Chelsea|
|Silva: PSG should have beaten Chelsea|
|Jones: Liverpool´s best chance for the title|
|Sherwood: I don´t know best Spurs XI|
|Premier League Preview: Manchester City v West Brom|
|Rodgers: Henderson still vital|
|Lallana: League One was beneficial|
|Leaked line-up no big deal, says Allardyce|
|Moyes wants respect from Everton fans|
|Rodgers: Gerrard is world´s best holding midfielder|
|Silva: PSG must win Coupe de la Ligue|
|Toshack: Messi not to blame for slump|
|Rolando wants Inter stay|
|Juventus must beat Bologna, says Pogba|
|Simeone: Perseverance paid off|
|Keller wary of unlucky Stuttgart|
|Miranda hails gutsy Atletico|
|Scottish Premiership: Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0 Aberdeen 0|
|Ligue 1: Saint-Etienne 0 Rennes 0|
|Championship Wrap: Burnley edge closer, Wigan see off Reading|
|La Liga: Atletico Madrid 2 Elche 0|
|Toure: African heritage counts against me|
|Zlatan absence changes everything, concedes Blanc|
|Garcia understands Coutinho comparisons|
|League Two Wrap: Scunthorpe held, Torquay slip closer to relegation|
|League One Wrap: Brentford secure promotion|
|La Liga Preview: Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao|
|Nocerino eager to stay in England|
|Garde urges Lyon to make amends for 2012 defeat|
|Garcia pleased with Roma campaign|
|Adams confident of Liverpool shock|
|Premier League Preview: Norwich City v Liverpool|
|Moyes outlines transfer plans|
|Anigo confident of Bielsa arrival|
|Pellegrini ´absolutely sure´ of Liverpool, Chelsea slip-ups|
|Solskjaer slams ´unfounded´ Gunnarsson reports|
|A-League: Melbourne Victory 2 Sydney 1|
|Seedorf calls for focus|
|Tombides loses cancer battle|
|Holland: FA could have helped Chelsea more|
|Premier League Preview: Everton v Manchester United|
|Costa backs Atletico in title run-in|
|Terry closing in on new Chelsea deal|
|Premier League Preview: Hull City v Arsenal|
|English football should support Chelsea - Bruce|
|Guardiola confident in Bayern after mini-slump|
|Van Basten agrees deal at AZ|
|Cardiff confidence high ahead of Stoke clash|
|Success of Pulis good for British managers - Allardyce|
|Hernanes: Inter will challenge for titles|
|Pulis slams ´disappointing´ Cardiff conduct|
|Hannover safety not assured, claims Korkut|
|Conte focused on Juve title quest|
|I want a hostile Goodison for Moyes return - Martinez|
|Umtiti confident of Coupe de la Ligue upset|
|Van Dijk plays down Premier League links|
|I know who is trying to unsettle us - Monk|
|Bale targets Bayern after Copa success|
|Pardew: Remy and Newcastle are a good fit|
|Costa Rica Primera Division Wrap: Alajuelense close in|
|Klinsmann: US mentally equipped for World Cup|
|Hodgson wary of Pirlo threat|
|Prib: Hannover not safe yet|
|Tevez hails ´top-level´ Conte|
|Argentina Primera Division Wrap: Colon edge closer to leaders|
|Copa Libertadores: The Strongest 2 Defensor Sporting 0|
|Spain easier to represent than Brazil, says Luis|
|Pochettino expects Shaw stay|
|Cannavaro keen to coach in Italy|
|Copa do Brasil Wrap: Goias stunned|
|Simeone focused on Elche|