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Former coach criticizes Spain's energy, tactics

DURBAN, South Africa — A popular pick to make the title game, Spain is feeling the heat as it looks to merely advance from the group stage.

On Thursday, former national coach Luis Aragones criticized the team's tactics in Wednesday's 1-0 upset loss to Switzerland, adding a lackadaisical start didn't help.

"There wasn't enough conviction to go and seize the game from the opening second," said Aragones, who led Spain to the European Championship title in 2008. "We lacked speed off the ball, and we didn't look for open space well enough.

"The better team didn't win; just the better organized one."

Current coach Vicente Del Bosque, whose team faces Honduras on Monday, tried to defuse the situation, saying he "totally respects" Aragones' opinions.

"Not one bad word will escape my mouth about (him)," Del Bosque said. "There is only one Spain; not one Del Bosque one and another Aragones one."

Praise for U.S.: After Switzerland's win, coach Ottmar Hitzfeld said he noticed the strategy coach Bob Bradley and the Americans used when they upset Spain 2-0 in last year's Confederations Cup.

The Americans concentrated on counterattacks, allowing Spain possession but putting a major part of their effort on defending in front of the goal.

"Switzerland played a very good game," Bradley said when told of Hitzfeld's comments. "Spain is a great team. Hitzfeld is a great coach. So if he paid our team a compliment, that's certainly a nice thing."

Family kills dad: David Makoeya, 61, who wanted to watch Sunday's Australia-Germany game instead of a religious program, was beaten to death by his family in Mak­weya, in northeast South Africa, police said.

Police spokesman Mothe­mane Malefo said Makoeya got up to change the channel after being refused the remote control and was attacked by his wife, Francina, 68, son Collin, 36, and daughter Lebogang, 23. He said he was not sure what the family used to kill Makoeya.

"It appears they banged his head against the wall," Malefo said. "They phoned the police only after he was badly injured. But by the time the police arrived, the man was already dead."

All three were arrested. Lebogang was released on $200 bail. The other two are still in custody.

Mandela sighting: Anti-apartheid leader and former South African president Nelson Mandela made his first public appearance since the tournament began. But it was for the funeral of his 13-year-old great-granddaughter, who died after a June 10 concert commemorating the event. Police say a family friend who was driving the car that crashed could be charged with drunken driving and homicide. Mandela, whose public appearances are rare, has not said if he will attend any games.

Still out: FIFA denied the appeal of Australian captain Tim Cahill, who will sit out Saturday against Ghana. Cahill was given a red card and earned a one-game ban for a foul against Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger on Sunday. After the game, Schweinsteiger told Cahill he believed the red card was undeserved.

Former coach criticizes Spain's energy, tactics 06/17/10 [Last modified: Friday, June 18, 2010 6:01pm]
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