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Euro 2020

Mata Hands Spain Narrow Victory

Euro 2016 Qualifiers

Result: Macedonia 0-1 Spain

Date: 08 September 2015

Venue: Nacionalna Arena Filip II Makedonski 

Juan Mata scored the only goal of the game to hand Spain a 1-0 win over Macedonia in their Euro 2016 Qualifier on Tuesday evening. 

Vicente Del Bosque decided to hand David De Gea a start, his first appearance for the new season, while Juan Mata started ahead of Santi Cazorla.

La Roja went ahead as early as the eighth minute when Juan Mata's cross-cum-shot looped over Pachovski and into the back of the net.

Diego Costa nearly ended his goal drought for Spain in the 12th minute when he cut in from the left flank, before firing into the side-netting.

After a quiet spell the visitors nearly scored in the 42nd minute when Dani Carvajal's cross from the right sailed over the the goalkeeper and crashed onto the crossbar.

Macedonia had a rare opening shortly after the halftime break from a set-piece, when Hasani's free-kick sailed just over the crossbar.

Hasani went close for the home side in the 60th minute but his effort was blocked by Sergio Busquets in the box, before the Spanish midfielder denied Ivanovski.

Spain boss, Del Bosque, decided to change his approach and introduced Paco Alcacer and Koke for Diego Costa and Santi Cazorla respectively.

The visitors had the ball in the back of the net after 70 minutes, but Alcacer's clinical finish was flagged for offside.

Nonetheless, the score remained the same at the full-time whistle and Spain got their seventh win in qualifying to maintain top spot in Group C.

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