Holders Spain got their European Championships defence off to the perfect start. Gerard Piqué’s header gave Del Bosque’s men a winning start to their Euro 2016 campaign with a 1-0 victory against Czech Republic at the Toulousse stadium. Pedro played a last 10-minutes spell in the game and had a hand on the decider by former Barelona teammate Piqué.
The Spanish side needed all three points to move level with Croatia at the top of Group D. Spain headed to France trying to forget the disappointing loss against Georgia (0-1). It wasn’t easy but they managed to win.
Del Bosque’s side assumed control of play right from the start, moving the ball around and looking to stretch the Czech defence. Spain totally dominated the opening minutes, but the real first chance came in the 16th minute.
Juventus striker Álvaro Morata was the first to test the Czech goalkeeper. He was close to put the Spaniards ahead following a cross from David Silva but Cech reacted well. Morata did well again in the 28th minute, but failed to hit the target.
Andres Iniesta was given a standing ovation: "Iniestaa, Iniestaa, Iniestaa...!". The crowd cheered the Albacete’s name.
Spain were creating chances but they couldn’t find that special touch needed to put the ball in the back of the net. David de Gea was chosen between the sticks, but it wasn’t a busy evening in the Spain goal. In fact, he was rarely challenged.
The Spanish side have had 68% possession. It was the home team that continue to look the more likely, with Iniesta and Morataboth causing Spain problems. Del Bosque’s men kept control of the game, preventing the visitors from reacting. Spain golekpeerDavid de Gea pulled off several saves in the second half.
Spain coach Del Bosque replaced Morata with Aritz Aduriz. Thiago then replaced Fabregas as Spain looked to break the deadlock. Spain continued to press with another Aduriz half-chance but Krejci was back to prevent the midfielder from firing home. Finally the goal arrived and a sense of general relief was palpable. Pedro controlled the ball in the edge of the box before playing to Iniesta on the left to deliver another fantastic cross. Pique finished with a superb header for Spanish side. Spain will take on Turkey on Friday.
- Match report by Sefutbol.com / Pedro17.com
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