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Spain down Macedonia in World Cup qualifying match

IANS logoIANS 12-06-2017

It was the first time Isco, who played brilliantly, was in the starting lineup for a World Cup qualifier with Julen Lopetegui as coach, under whom Spain is still unbeaten, reports Efe.

Spain came onto the pitch on fire on Sunday and rapidly took control of the match, demonstrating excellent ball-handling and passing.

Fifteen minutes into play it was David Silva in great form who got the Spaniard's on the board first. Andres Iniesta knocked the ball into the path of Barcelona colleague Jordi Alba, who tapped it back to Silva, whereupon he popped it into the net from about eight meters.

Then, it was Diego Costa in the 27th minute, on a pass by Isco after a shot saved by Stole Dimitrievski, driving home his fifth goal of qualifying play from short distance to put La Roja up by two at the break.

In the 66th minute, with the Spaniards seeming to relax to some extent, Macedonia's Stefan Ristovski made a fabulous effort to score for the home team, threatening to mount a comeback drive. But Lopetegui's boys managed to maintain their lead and will now go up against Italy in September in Madrid in the next qualifying round.

The top team in each of the nine UEFA qualifying groups secures a direct berth in next year's World Cup.

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