Euro 2016

Qualifying group C

Spain 5 – Macedonia 1

Spain: Casillas; Juanfran, Raúl Albiol, Sergio Ramos (Marc Bartra 68’), Jordi Alba; Koke (Munir 76’), Busquets, Fábregas; David Silva, Paco Alcácer (Isco 56’), Pedro. 4-3-3.
Macedonia: Pacovski; Ristovski, Sikov, Mojsov, Cuculi, Alilovski (Demiri 46’); Ibraimi, Spirovski (Radeski 63’), Trajkovski, Abdurahimi (Velkovski 74’); Jahovic. 5-4-1.

1-0. 15. Sergio Ramos (penalty). After Mojsov tripped David Silva inside the area.
2-0. 17. Alcácer. Turned ball past in to net after Juanfran played back Cesc cross.
2-1. 28. Ibraimi (penalty). After Juanfran brought down Trajkovski in penalty area.
3-1. 45. Busquets. Shot from outside of area which took deflection off Sikov.
4-1. 49. Silva. Collected Jordi Alba pass and turned angled shot across Pacovski.
5-1. 91. Pedro. Ran on to Silva through ball and chipped angled shot in off bar.

A great start for the new-look Spain side, a convincing 5-1 victory over Macedonia dissipating any doubts about whether they would falter after a disastrous World Cup campaign. Sergio Ramos opened the scoring with a soft “Panenka” penalty on the quarter hour mark after Mojsov tripped Silva inside the area, and just two minutes later debutant Paco Alcácer made it two after Juanfran played a long centre from Fàbregas back across goal.

Ibraimi got one back though with a second penalty after Juanfran brought down Trajkovski, but Silva and Alcácer both went close, and with the first half coming to a close Alcácer headed the ball on for Busquets to drill in a low shot which took a deflection off Sikov to wrong foot the keeper.

Casillas had to save from Jahovic immediately after the restart, but a couple of minutes later Silva picked up a Jordi Alba assist before firing a shot on the turn through the legs of a defender and in to the far corner of the net. Fàbregas hit the bar soon afterwards, and with the game won Del Bosque used the occasion to bring on 19 year old Munir for his first cap.

Casillas still had to be on his toes to keep out Ibraimi and Traikovski later on as Spain relaxed, but with the game in injury time Silva slipped the ball through for Pedro to chip the keeper and wrap things up. With second favourites Ukraine losing to Slovakia and Luxembourg getting a draw against Belarus, Spain are already well on the road to France.