Sat, Jun 29, 2013 - Page 18 News List

Nerveless Navas settles shootout

JESUS SAVES SPAIN:Sub Jesus Navas had the final say, but Italy showed a vast improvement on their last performance against the World Cup holders

AFP, FORTALEZA, Brazil

Del Bosque elected to swap Torres for holding midfielder Javi Martinez, but it gave Spain momentum, with Pique and Jordi Alba both going close.

Substitute Juan Mata also curled wide, before Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon unconvincingly palmed a shot from Xavi onto the post and Martinez’s follow-up effort evaded Mata’s toes by centimeters.

Buffon then had to touch away a low effort from Navas as Spain threatened to snatch victory at the death, but thanks to Bonucci’s misfortune, the Spain substitute would still have the final say.

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