Spain thump Macedonia

2014-09-09 07:31
Sergio Ramos
Sergio Ramos

Valencia, Spain — Spain overcame a few nervous moments to ease past Macedonia 5-1 with five different goal scorers in its first qualifier for the 2016 European Championship on Monday.

Although the defending European champions began well with early goals by Sergio Ramos and Paco Alcacer, Macedonia countered with a 28th-minute goal by Agim Ibraimi that unsettled Spain.

However, an assured performance by captain Iker Casillas in goal helped Spain recover its self-confident, rapid-passing game.

Sergio Busquets, David Silva and Pedro Rodriguez added goals as Spain turned the game into a rout.

Ramos opened the scoring by converting a penalty in the 16th with a deft lob into the middle of the net after Silva was tumbled down by defender Stefan Ristovski. A minute later, Alcacer found himself alone in front of goal after Juan Francisco "Juanfran" Torres drew Macedonia's defenders to the right before making a precise pass that the Spain forward converted to get a goal on his debut.

But Juanfran then tripped Ibrahimi in the penalty area and the Macedonian converted in the 28th. Four minutes later Rodriguez had his accurate shot deflected by Pacovski.

Midfielder Busquets then scored his first international goal — in his 69th appearance — in first half injury time with a low, powerful shot to goalkeeper Tomislav Pacovski's left.

Casillas prevented another comeback attempt when he acrobatically got a foot to Adis Jahovic's powerful shot in the 47th minute.

Silva exchanged passes with defender Jordi Alba for his 20th international goal in the 50th, and Rodriguez added the fifth with a delicate lob over Pacovski in injury time.

Francisco "Isco" Alarcon came on for Alcacer, before Del Bosque gave 19-year-old Munir El Haddadi his first cap by substituting Jorge "Koke" Resurreccion with the Barcelona youngster.

Del Bosque had included El Haddadi in the squad as a late replacement for the injured Diego Costa in a bid to breathe new life into Spain after its botched World Cup defense in Brazil.

Also in Spain's Group C, Slovakia won 1-0 at Ukraine, and Luxembourg held Belarus to a 1-1 draw.

Robert Mak gave Slovakia the win by scoring with a left-foot shot in the 18th minute, while Belarus needed a 78th-minute equalizer from Stanislav Dragun to rescue a point at Luxembourg. The hosts had gone ahead in the 42nd when Lars Gerson volleyed into the roof of the net.

Read more on:    spain  |  macedonia  |  international  |  sergio ramos  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Who was the best summer signing in the EPL?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.