Two extra-time goals saw Spain through to the
quarter-finals as they downed Brazil 4-2 in a pulsating encounter
at Swangard Stadium on Wednesday.
Expectations were high before the game and both sides duly delivered in an enthralling end-to-end tie. The chances came thick and fast throughout with Adrian Lopez spurning the first two for La Roja, allowing Leandro Lima to put the Brazilians ahead on 39 minutes when he conjured up a spectacular scissor kick from Amaral's cross. Gines Melendez's side were rocked further when Alexandre Pato headed home Marcelo's pinpoint cross two minutes later, although Gerard Pique got the Spaniards back into the game immediately when he nudged the ball in with his thigh from Juan Manuel Mata's free kick.
It was all Spain after the break, although Adan needed to keep his wits about him to deny the South Americans at the end of a brace of lightning counterattacks. The men in red eventually made their pressure count, and snatched a deserved equaliser when Javi Garcia took advantage of a disorganised Brazilian defence to fire home a free kick six minutes from time. Despite chances at both ends, the deadlock remained unbroken as the game went into extra-time.
Despite their obvious fatigue, both sides cooked up a classic final half-hour. Alberto Bueno nodded Spain in front after Diego Capel and Esteban Granero had broken forward at pace, before Lima saw red for the Brazilians.
Reduced to ten men, the Auriverdes nearly pulled level only for Adan to thwart Luiz Adriano with a smart save. At the other end the Spanish carved out a hatful of chances, and were denied by the woodwork on one occasion before Lopez finally killed off their wilting opponents.
La Rojanow head for Edmonton to face the Czech Republic on Saturday. As for Brazil, however, their ill-starred Canadian adventure has come to an abrupt end.