Football

Spain set sights on 100 per cent record

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Alonso scored against Czech Republic. (©PAphotos)
Alonso scored against Czech Republic. (©PAphotos).

Czech Republic 0
Spain                  2

Generali Arena, Prague
Euro 2012, Qualifying Group I

Goals: Mata, 6' Alonso, 23'


Czech Republic:
Petr Cech, Roman Hubnik, Tomas Sivok, Michal Kadlec, Theodor Gebre Selassie, Tomás Hübschman, Tomas Rosicky, Petr Jiracek, Daniel Pudil, Daniel Kolár [Kamil Vacek 77], Milan Baros [Tomas Pekhart 63]

Spain: Iker Casillas; Gerard Piqué, Raúl Albiol, Sergio Ramos [Carles Puyol 45], Álvaro Arbeloa; Xabi Alonso [Javi Martínez 71], David Silva, Xavi, Sergio Busquets, Juan Mata; Fernando Torres [David Villa 62]
 



Spain maintained their 100 per cent record in Euro 2012 qualifying group I with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Czech Republic in Prague on Friday night.

The reigning World and European champions took an early lead when Chelsea playmaker Juan Mata slotted past club teammate Petr Cech after latching onto a through-ball after only six minutes.

Vicente Del Bosque's much changed side controlled the first-half, and doubled their advantage in the 23rd minute when Manchester City midfielder David Silva found former Liverpool and current Real Madrid man Xabi Alonso unmarked in the box.

The Czechs created few chances and put themselves under more pressure in the 67th minute when Tomas Huebscham was sent off for a nasty tackle on goalscorer Alonso, who was forced to leave the pitch.

The result leaves the Czech's in 3rd place, a point behind Scotland who recorded a 1-0 victory over Liechstenstein on Saturday. Craig Levein's side face runaway leaders Spain in Alicante on Tuesday night, knowing that a win will guarantee them a play-off spot.


 


We won't go easy on Scotland, insists Alonso



Xabi Alonso insists Spain will not be doing Scotland any favours in Alicante tomorrow night, and urged his teammates to remain professional and maintain their perfect qualifying record.

After the Real Madrid midfielder scored to help Vicente Del Bosque's men to a 2-0 victory over Czech Republic on Friday evening, the Scots have been handed a lifeline in the final round of qualifiers.

Knowing they must at least match the Czech's result against Lithuania when they travel to the Jose Rico Perez stadium, Alonso conceded that although he has a soft spot for Scotland, he reiterated that they will have to work hard to clinch a play-off spot.

"I have a special appreciation for Scotland and would love them to be in the Euros but we cannot afford to go easy in any game," confirmed the 29-year-old.

"I appreciate Scotland because I was at Liverpool for five years. I was able to visit Scotland a few times. The people are really nice and very funny.

"When we played at Hampden I really enjoyed the atmosphere and I know how passionate the fans can be."

Alonso says Spain gave 100 per cent against the Czech's on Friday, and that there is no intention to take their foot off the pedal on Tuesday.

"Our qualification was assured before the game against Czech Republic but we had to be professional," he added. "We had to play well and we did that - we were pleased with the performance and the result.

"Can we go easy on Scotland? That is something the Czechs would have been asking about themselves before Friday too. But we have to be professionals again."

Topics:
Internationals
Football
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