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Feb 7, 2013

Del Bosque praises prolific Pedro

Pedro scored twice for Spain as the World Champions beat Uruguay 3-1 at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.

Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque believes the depth in his side has been critical to their dominance on the world stage, with three debutants and a host of experienced players on hand to stretch La Rojas's unbeaten streak to 18 matches thanks to a convincing 3-1 win over Uruguay on Wednesday.

Cesc Fabregas' opener was cancelled out by Uruguay's Cristian Rodrigues but a second half double to striker Pedro Rodriguez continued Spain's rich run of form and provided Del Bosque with the ideal preparation for next month's World Cup qualifiers against Finland and France.

In the absence of midfielders Xavi and Xabi Alonso, Del Bosque handed Isco, Cesar Azpilicueta and Mario Suarez their international debuts, with accomplished performances giving the Spanish boss comfort in his options leading into the 2014 World Cup.

"They are all players who are going to increase the quality of our squad, and they have adapted to the group very easily, with no problems at all," said Del Bosque. "They did what was asked of them, and they were showed the characteristics which made us call them up to the squad in the first place."

Pedro's brace took his personal tally to nine goals from his last six outings for Spain and Del Bosque believes the striker's energy on the pitch was the key for a resurgent second half showing.

"He's a dynamic player, who knows exactly what he needs to do on the pitch, and he's got this incredible pace, which is vitally important in the modern game," he said. "We played some good football for some moments in the game and in the first half we lacked a bit of attacking depth, but Pedro gave us some speed."

Despite the comfortable result for Spain, Del Bosque concedes his defence was strongly tested by Uruguay's potent attacking duo of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani.

"I think we had some good moments, but they showed their strengths," he said. "They were difficult to break down in defence and they were strong on the counter-attack, and we had to be careful of their attacking midfielders. They threatened us and were dangerous."

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez was left to rue his side's inability to hold out Spain in the second half, but believes a strong performance against the world champions provides positive signs for next month's qualifiers.

"It's good for the team to play matches like these, against the world and European champions,'' he said. "We have two difficult games against Paraguay and Chile, then we have to go to Venezuela and then we have a friendly against France. We have earned the right to play these types of games [with European sides] but the most important thing is World Cup qualification.

"We have had some awful past few months and we've lost our footing in the qualifying group, and now we have to improve and recover our form. But we have a good squad, and that is positive."

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