Alonso strike leaves Spain third


Spain 3 South Africa 2:Spain secured third place at the Confederations Cup today when Xabi Alonso curled home a long-range free kick to give them a 3-2 win over hosts South Africa after extra time.

European champions Spain, whose 35-match unbeaten run came to a shock end against the United States in the semi-finals, were lethargic for much of the encounter and appeared to be heading for another defeat when Katlego Mphela put the tournament hosts ahead after 73 minutes.

But two goals in the final three minutes from substitute Daniel Guiza turned the match around only for Mphela to send the game into extra-time with a blistering free-kick.

Spain sealed it when Liverpool midfielder Alonso curled a 107th-minute free-kick from the left into the area which eluded everyone and ended up in the bottom right-hand corner.