Spain boost Euro 2016 qualification chances with 1-0 win over Ukraine
Madrid, March 28 (IANS) Striker Alvaro Morata's game-clinching goal against Ukraine helped Spain collect their fourth win from five qualifying games for the Euro 2016 football Championships.
Morata's goal secured three vital points on Friday for qualification in what was another disappointing display from the Spanish team, reports Xinhua.
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque opted to pair midfielders Andres Iniesta, Isco and David Silva in his side while Morata was given the task of leading the attack in just his third appearance for his country.
The game kicked off after an emotional minute's silence for the victims of the Air Berlin air crash earlier in the week, which claimed the lives of 50 Spaniards.
It was no surprise that Spain controlled the proceedings and their first clear chance arrived in the ninth minute when Morata shot wide. Morata scored his first goal for his country after 28 minutes following a move involving Iniesta and midfielder Koke.
Sergio Ramos should have doubled Spain's lead three minutes from halftime but headed against the crossbar following a free kick.
The second half started with Spain again in control but an error from Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who failed to clear with his feet gave forward Ruslan Rotan with a shooting chance, which allowed the keeper to redeem himself.
Casillas saved again from Rotan with just over 20 minutes remaining. Spain were generally in control but without the spark needed to break down an organised rival defence.
But Spain held on with reasonable ease in the closing minutes.