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FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

Dinamo Stadion (ATT 30,000) 12th October 2012 - Kick off 19:00 Ref: S Gumienny

Belarus Belarus vs Spain Spain

Belarus 0

ft

Spain 4

J Alba (12)
Pedro (20, 69, 72)

Pedro treble inspires Spain

Belarus beaten 6-0 by world champions in Minsk

Last Updated: 12/10/12 9:35pm

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Pedro: In fine form for Spain against Belarus in World Cup qualifier

Pedro: In fine form for Spain against Belarus in World Cup qualifier

Barcelona forward Pedro netted a hat-trick as Spain comfortably made it two wins from two in World Cup qualifying with a thumping 4-0 victory over Belarus in Minsk.

Jordi Alba gave the world and European champions a 12th-minute lead as he was allowed to race onto Pedro's back-heel - despite appearing to be in an offside position - and round goalkeeper Sergei Veremko before slotting home.

Eight minutes later Pedro latched onto a lovely pass from David Silva and dinked over the advancing Veremko, and the Tenerife-born player completed his first international treble with two further goals in the final quarter - first a lob from Xavi's pass following a swift counter-attack and then another neat finish 18 minutes from time.

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque had made three changes to the side that started in last month's 1-0 win over Georgia, with Andres Iniesta, Roberto Soldado and the injured Gerard Pique replaced by Santi Cazorla, Pedro and Cesc Fabregas.

However, the changes did little to affect Spain's rhythm as, in contrast to recent matches in which they have taken their time to unlock the opposing defence, the chances came thick and fast for the visitors early on.

Fabregas was first to threaten, getting on the end of a defence-splitting pass by Silva but his touch around Veremko took him slightly too wide and Stanislav Dragun recovered to deflect his effort onto the post.

Silva should have then opened the scoring when he was picked out by Xavi's ball over the top but the Manchester City playmaker appeared to think he was in an offside position as he lazily buried the ball into the side-netting.

Capitalise

When the opener did arrive, there was more than a touch of controversy about it. Alba had clearly run beyond the last defender before Pedro redirected Xavi's pass in his Barcelona team-mate's direction, but the flag stayed down and the left-back ran on to convert his second international goal.

And, before the 20-minute mark, Del Bosque's men had doubled their advantage. Silva timed his pass perfectly for Pedro's run in behind the Belarusian defence and he took one touch to get the ball out of his feet before delicately chipping over Veremko.

Spain continued to dictate the play without feeling the need to desperately search for more goals after the interval but more space eventually started to appear in a tired Belarusian defence in the final quarter and Pedro was quick to capitalise.

He raced onto Xavi's through-ball to brilliantly chip Veremko on 68 minutes and then rounded the goalkeeper and rolled the ball into an empty net when he was fed by Fabregas soon after.

There was nearly time for substitute David Villa to mark his return to competitive international football with a goal as he smacked a shot off the bar with nine minutes remaining, but for once Pedro could not put the rebound away as he slotted wide with the goal at his mercy.

The victory moved Spain to the top of Group I alongside France. The two teams go head to head in Madrid on Tuesday.

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Matches

  • FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

    Fri 12th Oct - Group F
    Fri 12th Oct - Group I
    Fri 12th Oct - Group B
    Fri 12th Oct - Group C
    Fri 12th Oct - Group E
    Fri 12th Oct - Group G
    • Liechtenstein
      0 - 2
      Lithuania
      bet
      TV
    • Slovakia
      2 - 1
      Latvia
      bet
      TV
    • Greece
      0 - 0
      Bos&Herz
      bet
      TV
    Fri 12th Oct - Group D
    Fri 12th Oct - Group H
    Fri 12th Oct - Group A

Tables

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group A

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Belgium 10 26
2 Croatia 10 17
3 Serbia 10 14
4 Scotland 10 11
5 Wales 10 10
6 Macedonia 10 7

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group B

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Italy 10 22
2 Denmark 10 16
3 Czech Republic 10 15
4 Bulgaria 10 13
5 Armenia 10 13
6 Malta 10 3

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Germany 10 28
2 Sweden 10 20
3 Austria 10 17
4 Republic of Ireland 10 14
5 Kazakhstan 10 5
6 Faroe Islands 10 1

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group D

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Netherlands 10 28
2 Romania 10 19
3 Hungary 10 17
4 Turkey 10 16
5 Estonia 10 7
6 Andorra 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group E

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Switzerland 10 24
2 Iceland 10 17
3 Slovenia 10 15
4 Norway 10 12
5 Albania 10 11
6 Cyprus 10 5

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Russia 10 22
2 Portugal 10 21
3 Israel 10 14
4 Azerbaijan 10 9
5 Northern Ireland 10 7
6 Luxembourg 10 6

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group G

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina 10 25
2 Greece 10 25
3 Slovakia 10 13
4 Lithuania 10 11
5 Latvia 10 8
6 Liechtenstein 10 2

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 England 10 22
2 Ukraine 10 21
3 Montenegro 10 15
4 Poland 10 13
5 Moldova 10 11
6 San Marino 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Spain 8 20
2 France 8 17
3 Finland 8 9
4 Georgia 8 5
5 Belarus 8 4

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