Monday 17 June 2013
Manchester United forward Javier Hernandez and Liverpool’s Luis Suarez were on target for Mexico and Uruguay respectively on Sunday night but both players experienced defeat in their opening FIFA Confederations Cup matches in Brazil.
Hernandez was on target as Mexico levelled their opening match with Italy in Rio De Janeiro. "Chicharito" scored a 34th-minute penalty to cancel out Andrea Pirlo’s free-kick only for former Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli to force home a winner for the Azzurri 12 minutes from time.
Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla and Chelsea’s Juan Mata came on as second-half substitutes as Spain triumphed 2-1 against Uruguay thanks to first-half goals by Pedro Rodriguez and Robert Soldado. Liverpool’s Suarez reduced the arrears with a free-kick with two minutes remaining but his goal for a side that included fellow Reds defender Sebastian Coates as a non-playing substitute, could not deny victory for the dominant World and European champions.
Chelsea pair Fernando Torres and Cesar Azpilicueta were among six unused Premier League players available to Spain coach Vicente del Bosque. Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina, Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal and Manchester City pair David Silva and Jesus Navas all looked on from the bench.
In Africa Yaya Toure scored twice to help Ivory Coast win their group and reach the Africa qualifying play-offs for the FIFA 2014 World Cup.
The Manchester City midfielder got both his goals before half-time against Tanzania in Dar Es Salaam while Arsenal forward Gervinho also played the 90 minutes and set up the fourth for Wilfried Bony in a 4-2 victory. Toure’s clubmate Abdul Razak was an unused substitute for Ivory Coast.
Newcastle United’s Papiss Cisse also scored a brace as Senegal beat Liberia 2-0 in Monrovia to claim top spot in Group J. The Senegalese, who were captained by Mohamed Diame, the West Ham United midfielder, must avoid defeat at home to Uganda in September to win the group and qualify for the play-offs.
Sunderland forward Stephane Sessegnon opened the scoring for Benin as they drew 2-2 with Mali in Bamoko. The group has already been won by Algeria after they beat Rwanda 1-0 in Kigali. Albert Mugabo, the 17-year-old Arsenal defender, came off the bench to make his debut for Rwanda.
Youssouf Mulumbu, the West Bromwich Albion midfielder, played the 90 minutes for the Democratic Republic of Congo in a 0-0 draw with Cameroon that ended DR Congo’s hopes of winning Group I.
Winners of the 10 groups in Africa are drawn to play in five play-offs with the nations who triumph going to Brazil next year.