Tuesday 16 July 2019

Champions Spain breeze through Turkey and into the last 16

Spain 3 0 Turkey

Spain's Alvaro Morata celebrates after scoring their third goal with teammates
REUTERS/Yves Herman.
Spain's Alvaro Morata celebrates after scoring their third goal with teammates REUTERS/Yves Herman.

Reigning champions Spain marched into the second round of Euro 2016 with a 3-0 stroll over Turkey.

Two goals in three first-half minutes from Alvaro Morata and Nolito put Vicente del Bosque's team in control to move them top of Group D and into the last 16.

uventus forward Morata added a third in the second half before Spain eased off ahead of their final group game against Croatia on Tuesday.

They were rarely troubled in Nice - becoming the first team to score three goals at this year's tournament - with Turkey on the brink after two defeats from their opening two games.

Spain have not lost at the European Championship since a 1-0 defeat to Portugal in 2004 and looked at their imperious best in the Allianz Riviera despite a lack of fight from Turkey.

Just like their opening game against the Czech Republic, Spain dominated the first half and almost went ahead after 11 minutes when Hakan Balka sliced the ball into his own post.

Gerard Pique, who scored a late winner against the Czechs on Monday, then headed the resulting corner over. But, in contrast to Monday, Spain did not have to wait until the death to grab a deserved opener.

The holders took the lead in the 34th minute when Morata cleverly directed Nolito's cross past Volkan Babacan from 10 yards.

Then, three minutes later, it was Nolito's turn as the Celta Vigo forward cashed in on Mehmet Topal's miscued header to guide the ball into the corner.

Turkey managed to limp to half-time without further damage but conceded a third just three minutes after the break when Spain sliced them open.

Andres Iniesta found Jordi Alba, who looked offside, but no flag came and he unselfishly squared to Morata to tap in from six yards and cap a 22-pass move. A minute later Morata headed wide before Burak Yilmaz, Turkey's only change from their 1-0 opening defeat to Croatia, blazed a fine chance over.

David Silva then went close twice on the hour as the 2008 and 2012 champions broke out the exhibition football and replacement Soriano Bruno had his 68th-minute drive turned wide by Babacan.

Olcay Sahan was denied a late consolation by Cesar Azpilicueta with Spain superior in every department.

PA Media

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