Del Bosque toasts narrow win

2015-06-15 08:35
David Silva (AP)

Moscow - Spain coach Vicente del Bosque celebrated his 100th match in charge by praising his side's display in a hard-fought 1-0 win over Belarus in a Euro 2016 qualifier in Borisov on Sunday.

"I am happy with our performance as we controlled proceedings for practically the whole game," said the 64-year-old, the first Spain manager to reach the century milestone.

"There was only a 15 minute period in the second half, when our opponents managed to grab the initiative.

"It was a difficult match for us but we managed to claim three very important points, which helps to fight it out for a place in the European Championship.

"There are three teams who are trying to qualify."

The win kept European champions Spain in second place in Group C with 15 points from six games -- three points behind group leaders Slovakia and three ahead of Ukraine.

The top two go directly to the finals in France with the third-placed team set for the tension of the playoffs.

Asked about reaching the century mark as manager, the unflappable Del Bosque was philosophical about his achievement.

"My 100th game in charge of the team? This has been a long ride and we have had everything -- good and bad things. We will see what waits for us in the future," del Bosque added.

Goalscorer David Silva, who struck just before halftime, spoke in glowing terms about Del Bosque.

"The coach has achieved great things with us and I am sure that we will achieve even more with him," he said.

Silva also praised Iker Casillas, winning his 162nd cap, after the 34-year-old made a couple of fine second-half saves.

"Iker is a fantastic goalkeeper. He is the best for us, there is nothing more that I can say," said Silva.

Belarus head coach Alexander Khatskevich believed his side were unlucky, adding: "I thought we were fairly organised in defence. We stuck to our plan, but fortune was not on our side."

Goalkeeper Andrei Gorbunov, who was unable to cut out the cross from Cesc Fabregas that led to Silva's goal, said: "This is Spain, and I knew that I would have a lot to do.

"We made a little mistake and conceded a goal. However, we also had an excellent chance. It was just unfortunate we could not take it," said the 32-year-old referring to Sergei Kornilenko's effort which Casillas turned behind with his leg.

Read more on:    euro 2016  |  vicente del bosque  |  soccer

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