Durban: Newcomer Pedro Rodriguez showed his place in Spain`s World Cup team was well-merited by playing a big part in a 1-0 victory over Germany that put the European champions in the final.
The Barcelona forward said he was surprised to get the starting nod over regular striker Fernando Torres, but pulled himself together in his first international start to be one of the standout players on Wednesday.
"I had no idea and, sure the decision surprised me a little bit, but I focused quickly and all of my teammates helped me feel comfortable on the field," Pedro said. "I imagine the coach had his motives but everything worked out."
Pedro was instrumental in Spain`s attack, often throwing German defenders off-balance with his quick dribbling moves, while also offering a deep threat with his pace.
Pedro set up David Villa with a well-placed through ball in the sixth minute, but Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer blocked the striker`s shot.
Neuer made another stop on Pedro in the 58th before some slick moves set up a corner in the 62nd.
However, inexperience may have been the culprit in the 82nd when Pedro wasted a great chance to double the lead. He received the ball from Torres on a counter attack but tried to set himself up for a goal instead of passing back to the Liverpool striker, who was wide open in front of the `keeper after having just come on as a substitute moments earlier.
"I made a bad decision. I should have passed it first. It was a shame," Pedro said. "These are decisions that happen, you have to make them quickly."
Pedro can`t be blamed for looking to score, however, as he is coming off a club season marked by 12 goals in 34 league games. He also became the only player to score in six different competitions in one campaign.
Coach Vicente del Bosque included Pedro in the team for the first time following a season when he helped Barcelona to Spanish league, Club World Cup and Spanish Supercup triumphs.
"I`m happy about the game and the result," Pedro said, "but I guess I could have done better in that play."