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Pedro scores as Spain beats Italy 1-0 in friendly

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 5, 2014 at 6:02 pm •  Published: March 5, 2014

MADRID (AP) — Pedro Rodriguez stole the spotlight from debutant Diego Costa by scoring Spain's second-half winner in a 1-0 friendly victory over Italy on Wednesday in a rematch of the 2012 European Championship final.

David Silva's second-half introduction opened up Spain's attack and the Manchester City midfielder was involved in the move that finished with Pedro squeezing a powerful shot under goalkeeper Gianlugi Buffon in the 63rd minute.

Italy was more conservative than in its 4-0 defeat by the world champions in the Euro 2012 final in Kiev, with two first-half scoring opportunities the best it could muster in the friendly match.

Diego Costa — a Brazilian native — had a muted debut, with the Atletico Madrid striker squandering two decent chances and generally looking a subdued version of his prolific club self.

"I'm very happy to have finally played for Spain, and to win," Diego Costa said. "The first game is not easy. I'm happy but I know I can give a lot more."

Spain dominated Italy to stretch its unbeaten run to 31 games in the last international friendly date before teams announce their squads for the World Cup in Brazil, from June 12-July 13.

Spain started slowly, using its possession and patient passing game in search of openings after Alessio Cerci floated a shot over goalkeeper Iker Casillas and off the far post four minutes into his debut for the Azzurri.

Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa had chances after that before Pablo Osvaldo shot over the bar on the half hour mark for the visitors.

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