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FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

Olympiastadion (ATT 35,000) 6th September 2013 - Kick off 19:30 Ref: I Bebek

Finland Finland vs Spain Spain

Finland 0

ft

Spain 2

J Alba (18)
A Negredo (86)

Spain on brink of qualification after easy win over Finland

Last Updated: 06/09/13 10:20pm

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Manchester City's Alvaro Negredo seals Spain win over Finland

Manchester City's Alvaro Negredo seals Spain win over Finland

Spain need just three more points to qualify for the 2014 World Cup after defeating Finland in Helsinki to extend their lead at the top of Group I.

Jordi Alba opened the scoring for the world and European champions, who were made to suffer until Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo wrapped up the win late on.

Spain's closest rivals in the group, France, could only draw with Georgia and slipped three points behind Spain.

Vicente Del Bosque's side did not produce the finest of performances, but now just need to beat either Belarus or Georgia next month to secure their place at the tournament in Brazil next summer.

Del Bosque kept his faith with Iker Casillas, who has not played a single minute for Real Madrid this season, and started the Spain captain ahead of Victor Valdes, allowing him to pick up his 150th cap for his country.

An injury crisis in defence meant Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke was handed his first competitive start for Spain, playing at right back.

Mario Suarez also made his first start in a competitive match for his country, standing in for the injured Sergio Busquets in midfield.

Casillas was called into action early on, blocking a shot from Teemu Pukki after 13 minutes.

Pukki, who scored Finland's equaliser in the 1-1 draw in Gijon in March, again came close to scoring moments later, shooting just wide from the edge of the area.

Spain had dominated possession but failed to penetrate the opposition defence, but took the lead a minute after Pukki's second attempt.

Cesc Fabregas lofted the ball over the Finland defence and Alba controlled it with a deft touch of the left foot on the left hand side of the area, allowing him to cut inside and then roll the ball under the Finland goalkeeper to score.

Spain preserved their lead until the half-time break and were slow off the mark in the second half too, their only attempts being long-range efforts from Andres Iniesta and Suarez which missed the target.

The visitors got an almighty scare on the hour mark when former Tottenham player Teemu Tainio headed an in-swinging corner dangerously close to Casillas' near post.

They were let off the hook again a few minutes later, when Alexander Ring raced onto a ball over the top and got ahead of Sergio Ramos, but could not aim his shot on target.

Negredo was denied a goal by a brilliant last-ditch tackle by Petri Pasanen, frustrating the Manchester City striker after he had been put through on goal thanks to an exquisite pass by Xavi.

At the other end, Pukki missed a golden chance to equalise, shooting straight at Casillas after he was put through on goal.

Spain's nerves were soon calmed, however, when substitute Jesus Navas ran down the right wing on a counter-attack and played in a low cross towards his City team-mate Negredo, who made no mistake.

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Matches

  • FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

    Fri 6th Sep - Group F
    • Russia
      4 - 1
      Luxembourg
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    • N Ireland
      2 - 4
      Portugal
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    Fri 6th Sep - Group C
    • Kazakhstan
      2 - 1
      Faroe Islands
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    • Rep Ireland
      1 - 2
      Sweden
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    • Germany
      3 - 0
      Austria
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    Fri 6th Sep - Group B
    Fri 6th Sep - Group A
    Fri 6th Sep - Group E
    Fri 6th Sep - Group H
    Fri 6th Sep - Group D
    Fri 6th Sep - Group G
    • Latvia
      2 - 1
      Lithuania
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    • Bos & Herz
      0 - 1
      Slovakia
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    • Liechtenstein
      0 - 1
      Greece
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    Fri 6th Sep - Group I

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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