World Cup Throwback: Spain dump Portugal out in 2010

11th Jun 2018

Portugal play Spain on Friday night in what has been tipped to be one of the best group matches of the 2018 World Cup.

The European heavyweight can scarcely afford to kick off their respective campaigns with defeat, so a cagey encounter is unlikely to be on the cards.

The pair are, of course, fierce rivals so we can expect to see a bit of needle on show in Sochi. Cristiano Ronaldo and Co will be out for revenge, having been knocked out of the World Cup by Spain in 2010.

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Eight years ago, Spain topped their group - despite losing to Switzerland - to set up the last-16 clash with Portugal, who progressed as runners-up behind Brazil.

La Furia Roja were installed as favourites, having won Euro 2008 in some style, but it was Portugal who were on top for long periods of the game.

Ronaldo tried his luck from range twice while Hugo Almeida nodded wide and Tiago wasted a glorious chance of his own.


Goalkeeper Iker Casillas looked jittery and it appeared to be a matter of time before Portugal took the lead.

But Spain grew in confidence when Fernando Llorente was introduced for the misfiring Fernando Torres, who was still feeling the effects of a knee operation, on the hour mark.

The then Athletic Bilbao striker added much needed presence to the Spain front line, allowing David Villa to find more space.

And it was Villa who made the breakthrough when he collected a clever Xavi backheel before firing home at the second attempt.

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Spain never looked back and the writing was on the wall once Ricardo Costa received his marching orders for an off-the-ball clash with Joan Capdevila.

A solitary strike was all Spain needed, and that became a theme as four consecutive 1-0 victories helped Vicente del Bosque's side go on to life the trophy for the first time in their history.

Portugal, meanwhile, have never gone further than the semi-finals. But, having won Euro 2016 to finally get their hands on a major trophy, they will be determined to turn the tables when they meet their Iberian rivals in Russia.

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