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'
|We played more directly than Guardiola´s Bayern - Ancelotti|
|Chelsea and Arsenal want Brozovic, agent says|
|Kane: I want to stay at Tottenham for my whole career|
|Al-Khelaifi pledges new deal for sought-after Matuidi|
|Bayern Munich 6 Werder Bremen 0: Lewandowski hits hat-trick as champions cruise|
|Arda dropped from Turkey squad|
|Swansea agree deal for Barnsley defender Mawson|
|Aquilani leaves Sporting for Pescara|
|Montella excited as AC Milan close in on Pasalic|
|Lopez returns to Espanyol|
|Spalletti: Uncomfortable Roma must improve in Europe|
|Karanka confirms Ayala and Espinosa fit for Middlesbrough|
|United confirm Pereira to Granada on loan|
|Hey Jorrit - Netherlands call up Hendrix|
|Soares signs new four-year Southampton deal|
|Hernandez recovering from ´perfect´ surgery after falling down stairs|
|Gotze continues wait for second Dortmund debut|
|Montella: I will sleep easier without facing Higuain|
|PSV confirm Zinchenko loan signing|
|Schalke complete Stambouli signing|
|Ronaldo omitted from Portugal squad|
|Emery wants Matuidi to stay at PSG amid Juventus links|
|Sule gets first call-up as Schweinsteiger prepares for Germany farewell|
|Montella thrilled to retain ´irreplaceable´ Romagnoli|
|Real Madrid lose Isco to ankle sprain|
|Second Barca return sits easier with Guardiola|
|FIFA proposes two-and-a-half-year ban for Qatar official Al-Mohannadi|
|Inter set to sign Gabriel Barbosa and Joao Mario|
|Arsenal loan Asano to Stuttgart|
|Bonucci out and Higuain to stay on bench for Lazio - Allegri|
|No chance City will sign more players, says Guardiola|
|Conte unsure of Chelsea additions in ´crazy´ market|
|Conte would have no hesitation starting in-form Batshuayi against Burnley|
|Mourinho: We can think we´re in the Champions League|
|Cillessen aiming to make life difficult for Luis Enrique at Barcelona|
|Mourinho aims dig at Bayern over Schweinsteiger|
|Sevilla seal Sirigu loan signing|
|´Alcacer or nobody´ in Barcelona striker hunt|
|Recovering Ronaldo remains absent for Madrid|
|Europa League draw: Man Utd to face Van Persie´s Fenerbahce, Inter get Southampton|
|Europa League draw in full|
|Zidane brushes aside Pique´s Champions League jibe|
|Barcelona flop Douglas joins Sporting Gijon on loan|
|Simeone: Congratulations to Ronaldo, but Griezmann was better last season|
|West Ham can beat Manchester City again, says Bilic|
|Zidane reiterates desire for James to stay at Madrid|
|Granada pull off Samper loan coup|
|Guardiola was in his own world, says Muller|
|Pulis understands fans´ frustrations at West Brom|
|Henry named assistant to new Belgium boss Martinez|
|Casillas, Fabregas left out of Spain squad|
|Phelan targets six new faces before transfer deadline|
|Howe wary of Benteke threat|
|Zaza set to join West Ham, confirms Bilic|
|Sunderland goalkeeper Mannone out for three months|
|PSG favourites for Champions League group - Wenger|
|Wenger ´99 per cent confident´ on Arsenal arrivals as Perez and Mustafi wait in wings|
|Europe´s top four leagues to get four guaranteed Champions League spots|
|Pardew: Zaha not going to Tottenham|
|Bacca relishing life under Montella, aims subtle dig at Mihajlovic|
|Defiant Dortmund emerge from transfer trials in fighting shape|
|Livermore: Positive cocaine test my get out of jail free card|
|Pochettino relishing Champions League bow|
|Ronaldo wants to retire at Madrid at 41|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Dragon hold Saprissa, Connection and Progreso draw|
|Herrera: United out to win Europa League|
|Klopp targeting a trophy at Liverpool every year|
|Granada suspend recruit Angulo over failed drugs test|
|City vow to find Hart a new club|
|Palace blast ´ridiculous´ Zaha bid from Tottenham|
|Bravo: Barca will always be in my heart|
|Almost zero chance of Juventus signing James - Marotta|
|Liverpool´s Coutinho could miss Tottenham clash|
|Bilic ´angry and frustrated´ as West Ham crash out of Europe|
|Begiristain confident despite tough group for City|
|West Ham 0 Astra 1 (1-2 agg): Romanian minnows embarrass Hammers again|
|Hammers sign Swiss midfielder Fernandes|
|Humble Ronaldo hails team-mates following UEFA award|
|Krul joins Ajax on loan after signing new Newcastle deal|
|Leicester underdogs again in Champions League - Ranieri|
|Bale gunning for Champions League glory in Cardiff|
|Juventus additions strengthen Champions League bid - Marotta|
|Tuchel relishing ´classic´ Madrid Champions League encounter|
|Changed Burnley determined to survive|
|Ronaldo named UEFA Best Player in Europe for second time|
|Champions League draw in full|
|Guardiola handed Barca return with City in Champions League|
|Guidolin calls on Swansea to avenge Leicester thrashings|
|Eduardo completes Chelsea switch|
|Not easy to see Higuain at Juve - Cannavaro|
|Puel insists Fonte focused on Southampton|
|Ranieri knows Leicester are wanted men in Champions League|
|Puel backs Forster to take England chance|
|Cannavaro questions Juve´s European credentials after Pogba exit|
|Milan: Romagnoli not for sale, despite Chelsea bid|
|´Nobody more exciting than Michail Antonio´ - West Ham chairman|
|Pochettino prioritising transfers over new deals|
|Bravo completes Manchester City switch|
|No Barcelona bid for Mariano, insist Sevilla|
|Rashford drops down to England Under-21 squad|
|Koeman: No Everton interest in Hart|
|Ancelotti has it all - Ballack|
|Nolito eager for Champions League challenge|
|Evra dropped from France squad|
|Oliver Torres agrees Porto return|
|Ancelotti sees no need for Bayern revolution|
|Messi´s Roma goal wins UEFA award|
|Maradona questions Messi U-turn|
|Napoli pledge funds to earthquake victims|
|Hughes confirms Stoke interest in Manchester United defender Jones|
|Bentaleb completes Schalke switch|
|Klopp: Balotelli decision not imminent|
|Manquillo makes Sunderland move|
|Barca complete Cillessen signing|
|Hummels surprised by criticism from Dortmund fans|
|Blatter will accept CAS ruling|
|I do not want Sturridge as a wide player, insists Klopp|
|Schalke close in on Bentaleb and Stambouli|
|Wanted man Sukur denounces coup|
|´Everyone knows my best position´ - Sturridge unhappy at wide role|
|Villa says Alcacer ´knows what to do´ amid Barcelona links|
|Solo ´saddened´ by United States axing|
|Drinkwater signs new Leicester deal|
|Spanish clubs dominate as history beckons for Ancelotti - the Champions League in numbers|
|Lopes sets sights on Lille silverware and Portugal breakthrough|
|´A scholar and a monster´ - Surgeon hails ´unique´ Ronaldo|
|MLS Review: Altidore scores as Toronto move top in east, Galaxy rally|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Tigres win, Dallas held|
|Victory lure Rojas back to Melbourne|
|Chaplow suspended two games for verbal abuse, denies homophobia|
|Eduardo farewells Dinamo Zagreb amid Chelsea speculation|
|Zidane shoud give James more respect - Asprilla|
|Solo suspended from USA women´s team for six months|
|Guardiola understands fans unhappiness over Hart situation|
|Burnley and Middlesbrough sent packing from League Cup|
|Coleman baffled by Ramsey´s treatment at Arsenal|
|Six of the best for Gladbach as Rostov rout Ajax|
|Leicester face Chelsea, Northampton host United in League Cup third round|
|Cillessen set to fly out to Barca to complete move|