World Cup 2010 - Qualifying matches

Spain 1 - Turkey 0

Spain: Casillas; Sergio Ramos, Raúl Albiol, Piqué, Capdevila; Xavi, Xabi Alonso, Marcos Senna, Cazorla (David Silva 77'); David Villa (Mata 64'), Fernando Torres (Fernando Llorente 88'). 4-4-2.
Turkey: Volkan; Gonul, Uzulmez, Emre Asik, Hakan Balta; Mehmet Aurelio, Emre Belozoglu (Sabri 84'); Tuncay, Nihat, Arda Turan (Gokhan Unal 77'); Sentürk (Aythan Akman 57'). 4-2-3-1.

1-0. 60. Piqué. From close to goal after Ramos played across Xavi free kick.

A single goal from Barcelona's Piqué was enough to give Spain a 1-0 victory over Turkey in Saturday evening's World Cup qualifier. This was always going to be a difficult match against a direct rival for the group top spot, and with Fábregas, Puyol and Iniesta injured, Marchena suspended and Villa, Silva and Xavi all carrying knocks, Del Bosque had to make changes to his line up.

Casillas was in action early on to touch a shot from Villarreal's Nihat round the post, and then to save from Sentürk. Xavi had a goal disallowed for offside and a defender just got ahead of Villa as he lined up to head in Senna's cross, but visiting keeper Volkan was not really tested until he had to save from Fernando Torres shortly before half time.

With an hour on the clock though Spain won a free kick on the right of the area, and although Sergio Ramos failed to turn Xavi's free kick towards goal, the ball fell to Piqué for him to beat the keeper from close to goal. After that Silva, Ramos and Mata fired shots just wide of the target, and Xabi Alonso brought a good save out of Volkan with an effort from outside of the area.

Three vital points though, and at the midway stage of the competition Spain top the table with maximum points, six ahead of Bosnia and seven above today's opponents, who they meet again on Wednesday. The win extends the unbeaten run to thirty games, the last ten being straight victories, and this young side are rewriting the record books every time they play.