Spain move toward World Cup spot with win over Italy

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Madrid, Sep 3 (IANS) Attacking midfielder Isco Alarcon got Spain closer to a spot in the 2018 World Cup with an unstoppable performance at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium here in a 3-0 victory over Italy.

Italy went eleven years without losing a classifying round for a major tourney before bowing to Spain on Saturday, reports Efe.

The Italians got off to an aggressive start that was, however, punished with cards for Verratti and Bonucci in the first 12 minutes.

The match was then all Isco’s, who scored twice before the first half was over.

First, at the 13th minute he drilled a free kick past Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who was slow trying to block it to make it 1-0.

Italy subsequently put on the pressure with a threatening offence, but Spain’s defence stood equally steady.

Then, just before halftime, as he entered the area with a left-footed low Isco shot the ball past Buffon and into the net to make it 2-0 at minute 40, with plenty of fans shouting “Ole!” from the stands.

Spain’s Alvaro Morata added another goal for a good measure at minute 77, and so it ended: Spain 3, Italy 0.

Spain now top in World Cup Group G with 19 points, three more than Italy.

–IANS

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