Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 28th 2015 Contents EURO 2016 QUALIFIER
SEVILLE---Alvaro Morata scored in
his first start for Spain to secure a 1-
0 win at home over Ukraine in a Euro-
pean championship qualifier yester-
The Juventus forward chipped in the
game s only goal in the 18th minute
after receiving an exquisite pass from
Jorge "Koke" Resurreccion.
Ukraine improved in the second half
through Ruslan Rotan, but the mid-
fielder couldn t beat goalkeeper Iker
Casillas on three occasions.
"Morata came through and scored,
that s why we put him there," said Spain
coach Vicente del Bosque.
"We played well in the first half, but
we had trouble scoring. Our effort then
dropped and we let them dictate the
rest of the match. The second have left
a bad taste."
Spain moved into second place in
Group C, three points ahead of Ukraine
Slovakia remained the group leader
after beating Luxembourg 3-0, while
Belarus fought back 2-1 at Macedonia.
Slovakia had no trouble keeping Lux-
embourg at the bottom of the group
after first-half goals by Adam Nemec,
Vladimir Weiss and Peter Pekarik.
In Seville, a minute of silence was
held at Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium before
kickoff in memory of victims of the
Germanwings airplane tragedy.
Morata only started in place of the
injured Diego Costa, and he responded
by scoring his first goal in his third
appearance for the defending European
champions. He has scored nine goals
so far for the Serie A champions.
Spain s victory was its 15 in a row in
European championship qualifiers
played at home. It also took its unbeaten
streak on Spanish soil to 30 straight
competitive matches, a run dating back
to June 2003.
Rotan s first opportunity came in the
17th when he fired Artem Fedestkiy s
headed pass by the post. Otherwise,
Spain dominated the first half as Morata
put the hosts in front.
Koke used one touch to knock Andres
Iniesta s long ball into the path of Mora-
ta, who fended off his marker before
lifting the ball over goalkeeper Andriy
Pyatov. Spain went close to doubling
its advantage when Sergio Ramos head-
ed the ball off the corner of the goal-
frame four minutes before halftime.
Ukraine s only consistent threat was
through set pieces until its pressure
unnerved Spain s start of the second
Casillas had to stopping Rotan s free
kick in the 59th, which was meant to
be a pass but almost became a goal.
Moments later, he made amends for
his own errant pass by blocking Rotan s
hard strike. Casillas again was needed
to frustrate Rotan in the 66th after
Ukraine s first orchestrated attack down
the left culminated in another chance
for the midfielder.
Spain left back Jordi Alba asked to
be substituted in the 77th after hurting
his right leg.
Sergei Kornilenko completed Belarus
comeback with a goal in the 82nd, fol-
lowing Timofei Kalachev s goal in the
41st to cancel out Aleksandar Trajkovski
early opener for Macedonia.
Belarus moved ahead of Macedonia
into fourth place.
Kane scores 80 seconds
into England debut
Harry Kane scored 80 seconds into
his England debut, providing another
astonishing moment in his break-
through season in a 4-0 victory over
Lithuania in European Championship
Kane replaced captain Wayne Rooney
amid roars by expectant fans inside
Wembley Stadium, and he delivered
instantly by heading into an empty net
in the 73rd minute.
"It s not too bad," Kane quipped. "It s
the start I dreamed of, it s a little bit
of a blur at the minute...It s the best
moment by far---to represent your
country at senior level is the top."
The Tottenham striker stole the lime-
light from Rooney, who went within
two goals of Bobby Charlton s England
record 49 with his sixth-minute opener,
and Raheem Sterling tapping in his first
Danny Welbeck also scored as Eng-
land made it five wins out of five in
Group E, staying six points ahead of
both Slovenia and Switzerland. Slovenia
remained in the second automatic qual-
ification place by routing bottom-placed
San Marino 6-0. Switzerland stayed
third after beating Estonia 3-0, making
it 11 goals without conceding on a three-
game winning run.
abandoned; Sweden, Austria win
A Russian player was hit by a flare
after 20 seconds in Montenegro before
a brawl between the two teams players
eventually resulted in the European
Championship qualifier being aban-
Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was
taken to a hospital after collapsing to
the field when he was struck on the
head by a flare. It was 30 minutes before
the game resumed. But after Russia s
Roman Shirokov missed a penalty in
the 66th minute with the score at 0-
0, players and staff shoved one another.
It was announced that the match would
not resume. It was not clear whether
Russia would be awarded a victory.
Russia and Montenegro are third and
fourth respectively in Group G, both
with five points from four games. Aus-
tria remained top with a 5-0 rout of
Liechtenstein, four points ahead of
Sweden, which beat Moldova 2-0
thanks to Zlatan Ibrahimovic s double.
Saturday, March 28, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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