As many predicted, Spain made light work of their rivals in Group B at the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013, soaring to success in all three games to tie down top spot on nine points.
The world and European champions swaggered through their matches with attacking menace, racking up a total of 15 goals and conceding just one. Perhaps most incredibly of all, coach Vicente del Bosque was even able to let all 23 of his players get time on the pitch without his team's performances dipping.
Uruguay also surprised few by progressing to the semi-finals, although they needed to dig deep to edge their decisive meeting with Nigeria 2-1 after beginning with a 2-1 loss to Spain. The South American side's handsome 8-0 victory against Tahiti wrapped things up as they booked a spot in the knockout phase.
Nigeria, the last team to qualify for the Festival of Champions, delivered moments of high quality in their contests with both Uruguay and Spain, having made a positive start by putting Tahiti to the sword. As for the Oceanian hopefuls, they suffered heavy losses in all three outings, shipping 24 goals in total, but will travel home with many wonderful recollections of their first appearance in a major international tournament.
Goal rush at the Maracana
Not content with winning all three group games while giving playing time to their entire squad, Spain also posted the biggest victory since the FIFA Confederations Cup was first launched in 1992. Del Bosque's side were in hungry mood at the legendary Estadio do Maracana last Thursday as they hit double figures in a 10-0 success against Tahiti – a historic result for the stadium, La Roja and the FIFA Confederations Cup.
Diego Forlan buried Uruguay's decisive effort in their 2-1 win against Nigeria and he is sure to remember the game for many years to come. In addition to putting his side back on track for the semi-finals, he was celebrating his 100th cap, making him the first Uruguayan to reach his century. He likewise became the second oldest scorer in FIFA Confederations Cup history behind Lothar Matthaus, who set his benchmark in 1999, and the 34-year-old also lifted himself to the top of the Celeste goal charts with 34 strikes – until Luis Suarez overtook him with a double against Tahiti.
A goal, tears and Obrigado
Tahiti travelled to Brazil for their first ever taste of a major international competition and packed in enough lasting memories for a lifetime. The tournament was rich in emotions for the islanders and, even before their opening match against Nigeria, debutant Marama Vahirua found himself unable to hold back the tears as the country's national anthem rang out. History was then made in the 54th minute as Jonathan Tehau found the back of the net to score Tahiti's first and only goal at this level. Given boundless support by local crowds as goals rained in at the other end, the players then took the opportunity after losing to Uruguay in their final game to address a poignant 'Obrigado Brasil' (Thank you Brazil) to their hosts.
Appearing in their second FIFA Confederations Cup following their maiden campaign in 1995, Nigeria marked their return by recording a commanding 6-1 win against Tahiti, Nnamdi Oduamadi weighing in with a hat-trick. The biggest victory ever recorded by an African team in the competition, it also meant the Super Eagles stretched their unbeaten run in the tournament to four games, equalling Denmark's record – although they were soon made to suffer by both Uruguay and Spain.
28 – Among all the records broken by Spain during this tournament so far, surely none is more staggering than the fact that La Roja are now unbeaten in 28 competitive matches, outstripping the record of 27 set by France in 1999.
The last word
"I'm very happy to have taken part in this competition and left my mark on the history of Tahitian football. When I scored my goal, I immediately thought about celebrating it in style with my team-mates," Tahiti's first ever goalscorer in a major tournament, Jonathan Tehau, during an exclusive interview with FIFA.com following the game against Nigeria.