Free Press Journal

Spain look to taking another step towards Euro qualification 


Skopje (Macedonia): The Spanish football team has one main aim when it faces Macedonia in its European Championship qualifier on Tuesday evening — and that is to score goals at the Philip II Arena here.

Although the Spanish moved to the top of the qualifying group with a convincing 2-0 win over Slovakia on Saturday in one of their best performances in over a year, head coach Vicente del Bosque was annoyed that his players were not able to turn the 75 percent possession they enjoyed in the match into more goals or shots on target, reports Xinhua.

He will probably keep faith with Diego Costa in attack, even though the Chelsea star has now gone for over 500 minutes in the national shirt without scoring a goal.

Barcelona’s Gerard Pique has been in the headlines as well for Spain after the central defender was booed by a sector of the crowd on Saturday night and then insulted later the same night after visiting a night-club with several of his teammates.

Del Bosque has constantly defended Pique, calling the boos on Saturday “lamentable”, and then insisting that Pique and other players had been given permission to go out after the game.

Pique will almost certainly play alongside Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos in Macedonia and it is unlikely Del Bosque will risk undoing his side’s good work on Saturday by making too many changes.

Maybe Santi Cazorla could get a chance in midfield, while Dani Carvajal has a chance of starting on the right. But with qualification now within touching distance, expect Spain to keep the ball and carve out chances, only this time Del Bosque will be looking for his players to finish them off.