Spanish conquerors

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:43 AM ET

Their win over Brazil was impressive.

It's not often teams come back from two goals down to beat the South American giants.

POINTLESS

However, if Spain is not able to get past the Czech Republic tonight (5:45 p.m.) at Commonwealth Stadium in their quarter-final encounter, the victory over Brazil will seem pointless.

"We have a lot of confidence and our morale is very high after being able to beat Brazil," said Spanish defender Gerard Pique.

"But what we don't want to do is relax thinking that our win over Brazil was good enough and that makes us the best. We are confident but we also have to be focused on our next game because this is the quarter-final."

The Spain-Brazil match Wednesday in Burnaby was a classic. It'll go down as one of the best games of the tournament.

Brazil took a 2-0 lead with late first-half goals from Leandro Lima and Alexandre Pato. But Pique pulled on back before the break. Then Javi Garcia tied the affair with six minutes left in the contest.

"I think we had a great will to win - to be the best in the world," Pique said.

"That will along with the skill that we have, we knew that we could get ourselves back in the game and go on to win it. We didn't look at is as having to do it against Brazil which is one of the best teams in the world.

"But now that game is over, it's won and we have to focus on the next game."

After tying the game against Brazil, Spain turned things up and scored a pair of goals in extra time. They could have scored three or four as the Brazilians seem to wilt as the game went on.

"They looked very tired and I think we were in better shape physically," Pique said. "I think that lifts your morale and you really believe you can win the game."

The four goals were the most Spain has ever scored against a Brazilian side at any level.

So far in this tournament Spain has scored 12 goals in their first four games with midfielder Adrian Lopez netting five of them.

"I think scoring that goal late in the first half gave us a lot of life," said striker Diego Capel. "Pique's goal gave us a lot of momentum."

In the Czechs, Spain is facing a much different opponent than Brazil.

"They are a very strong team, they have a lot of height at the back," Pique said.

"It's going to be a tough game. They're probably going to sit back and wait for us to attack and try and hit us on the counter-attack to win the game."

TOUGHER THAN BRAZIL

The two met in March at an exhibition game with Spain winning 3-1.

"We know the Czech Republic very well, having seen them in the European championships last year," said Spain's head coach Gines Melendez. "We think this is going to be a very tough game, even tougher than the game against Brazil."

That may be the case as the Czechs made it through the group stage of the tournament undefeated. But, as European champions and slayers of the mighty Brazilians, Spain will be the favourites going in.

"It gives us a lot of confidence have been able to beat Brazil. It was a very tough game and we expect that the Czech Republic is going to be a tough game too," said Capel.

"I think in this World Cup there have been a lot of surprises already and we can't let our guard down at any moment."


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