Macedonia: Pacovski; Brdarovski, Ristevski, Sikov, Zuta; Gligorov, Petrovikj; Radeski (Ibraimi 85’), Hasani, Askovski (Bardi 77’); Ivanovski (Trajkovski 69’). 4-2-3-1.
Spain: De Gea; Dani Carvajal, Piqué, Sergio Ramos, Bernat; Busquets; Cazorla (Koke 68’), Mata, Isco (Iniesta 78’), David Silva; Diego Costa (Paco Alcácer 61’). 4-1-4-1.
0-1. 07. Pacovski (own goal). Deflected ball into net after Mata cross came off post.
Spain are almost certain of a place in the Euro 2016 finals after they won 0-1 in Macedonia, and their closest rivals Slovakia and Ukraine drew 0-0 in their group game. It was not an impressive performance though, the only goal coming early on when Mata’s cross came back off the post and went in off the face of keeper Pacovski. Del Bosque had made six changes from the side which beat Slovakia three days ago, but against an ultra-defensive line-up they found it hard going, the only real chances after the goal a shot into the side-netting by Diego Costa, and a long cross by Dani Carvajal which came back off the crossbar. Macedonia started the day at the bottom of the group after losing to Luxembourg in their last match, but they too had their chances, Petrovikj and Hasani seeing efforts going over the top of De Gea’s goal either side of half time. As the game wore on Spain’s main objective was to protect the result, knowing that the draw in Zilina meant that a win at home to Luxembourg next month will ensure them one of the top two qualifying spots, irrespective of how they fare in the last group game in Ukraine.