Euro 2016

Qualifying group C

Spain 2 – Slovakia 0

Spain: Casillas; Juanfran, Piqué, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba; Fàbregas (Cazorla 67’), Busquets, Iniesta (Koke 85’); David Silva, Diego Costa (Paco Alcácer 75’), Pedro. 4-3-3.
Slovakia: Kozacik; Pekarik, Salata, Hubocan, Tesak; Hrosovsky (Sabo 73’), Gyömber, Gregus, Hamsik (Duda 61’), Svento; Mak (Duris 46’). 4-5-1.

1-0. 05. Jordi Alba. Got behind defence to head Silva centre across Kozacik.
2-0. 30. Iniesta (penalty). After Kozacik tripped Diego Costa inside penalty area.

Spain came through a difficult encounter with flying colours, a 2-0 victory over Slovakia taking them above their opponents to the top of their group. The East Europeans had a 100% record after six games, including a 2-1 victory over Spain a year ago, and with Ukraine (who won earlier in the day) breathing down the necks of both teams, this was a must win match. “La Roja” were up to the task though, and although Mak gave them an early scare, they took the lead when Jordi Alba got behind the defence to head David Silva’s centre past Kozacik. Vicente Del Bosque had kept faith with Diego Costa up front, and with half an hour gone the Chelsea striker fell under a challenge from the keeper, the referee awarding a penalty which Iniesta converted. The locals completely dominated after that, Silva going close a couple of times and Fàbregas seeing the keeper tip his shot over the bar, although Slovakia were always dangerous on the counter-attack, Casillas having to save from Hamsik before the break, and half time substitute Duris firing a shot just wide of the post. A vital win then, although with Spain and Slovakia level on points and Ukraine just three behind them nothing is settled as yet, and Del Bosque’s side will be hoping to put some daylight between themselves and Ukraine before they meet next month in the last round of group games.