Nice - Defending European champions Spain
booked their place in the last 16 round of Euro 2016 on Friday with a
convincing 3-0 win against Turkey in Nice.
Vicente del Bosque's men bossed the Group D
tie from the kickoff, with a double by Juventus' Alvaro Morata and a first
competitive international goal from Nolito sealing a comfortable win.
"We showed our winning mentality and
great team spirit here tonight," said Andres Iniesta, who was awarded
"It depends on ourselves how far we go
here, the feelings we have are very positive at the moment," he said.
Turkey could also face UEFA sanctions after
sections of their support lit flares and threw firecrackers onto the pitch at
Spain, aiming for an unprecedented third
consecutive Euros title, can seal top spot in the pool with just a draw against
Croatia in their final group game on Tuesday.
Turkey need to beat the Czech Republic in
their final match and hope other results go their way to have any chance of
progressing as one of the four best third-placed sides from the six groups.
Before the game Turkey coach Fatih Terim
had called for more "fight" from his side to keep their Euro 2016
hopes alive after an out-of-sorts display against Croatia on Sunday, and for a
while his players responded.
Sitting deep and launching the occasional
counter-attack, Hakan Calhanoglu roused Turkey's raucous fans by sending a
free-kick just over David de Gea's crossbar on 25 minutes.
From the half-hour though, Spain moved up a
gear, starving Turkey of possession and, with Iniesta pulling the strings in
midfield, carving out chance after chance.
"Spain are a special team, one of the
strongest sides in the tournament, the first 30 minutes was ok but afterwards
we didn't play well," said Turkey coach Fatih Terim.
Individual mistakes caused at least one of
the goals, he said.
First Sergio Busquets teed up Nolito for a
right-footed curler just wide of left post.
Then the busy Celta Vigo winger scuffed
wide under pressure after a cutback from Juanfran.
On 34 minutes, though, Nolito turned
provider to greater effect.
Looking up, he spotted Morata unmarked in
front of goal and curled a pass over the defence to the marksman whose header
gave Spain the lead.
Three minutes later, Vicente del Bosque's
men went two-up, this time with Nolito as the finisher.
A chip into the box by Cesc Fabregas should
not have reached its target but Mehmet Topal, off-balance, headed backward to
the lurking Nolito who half-volleyed on the turn past Volkan Babacan.
After the break, despite some brief
flurries of Turkish resistance, Spain quickly added a third on 48 minutes.
Iniesta, immaculate throughout, threaded a
ball through the Turkish defence to Jordi Alba who squared to Morata for his
second of the night, a tap-in through Babacan's legs.
It was all too easy after that for the
two-time defending champions.
Substitute Bruno Soriano nearly scored a
fourth midway through the half, forcing a Babacan to tip round the post.
Then two minutes from the end he ballooned
over when well-placed.
It was another desperately disappointing
day for Turkey who had come into the tournament in fine form.
Fancied by some as dark horses to at least
escape the group, they didn't manage a shot on target against Spain while their
fans even took to booing their star player Barcelona's Arda Turan late on.