Pedro’s lone goal saves Spain from embarrassing defeat to France
Spain’s coach Vicente del Bosque claimed to be satisfied with the 1-0 victory over France, but deep down the Spaniard knew his men were under-achieving. Following a shocking 1-1 draw against Finland, the victory in Paris set Spain back on track for an automatic qualification in the 2014 World Cup.
Before the game Spain’s midfielder Sergio Busquets declared that a “great nation” might be unable to qualify for the 2014 World Cup through automatic qualification. La Furia Roja are believed to be out of form, which is why many expected France to give Spain a tough time at Stade de France on Tuesday night.
However, in reality France’s effort to win the game were abysmal at best. Les Bleus were undisciplined and lack lustrous throughout the game. Therefore, Spain’s victory had little to do with an exceptional performance.
Pedro, who scored the winner in 58th minute, admitted it was a must-win game for Spain. The Group I leaders France had the home-advantage over Spain, however they kept ball for only quarter of the game and were unable to produce any real threats for Spain.
“It was important to win, we managed that and I am very happy,” Pedro told Telecinco after the game. “It is a very big joy for us. We could not fail here.”
Pedro’s goal came after Patrice Evra lost the ball allowing Spain to initiate counter-attack. Fullback Nacho Monreal crossed the ball into France’s box which glanced off the chest of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to land in front of Pedro. The Barcelona forward made no mistake in scoring his tenth goal this season.
“I came sprinting in and got a touch on the ball,” Pedro said whilst admitting it was scrappy goal. “The cross was really good. I don't know exactly how the ball went in, but the most important thing was to win.”
Spain had a real case for a spot-kick during the first-half when Hugo Lloris knocked over Pedro, but the match referee refused to agree to Spain’s claims.
“For me it is a penalty,” Pedro added. I am running through, he touches me and knocks me over.”