Spain have booked their berth for next year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia after a comfortable 3-0 win over Albania in qualifiers. The 2010 world champions have won eight out of nine matches in Group G and are all set to finish on top ahead of Italy. Spain scored their first goal in 16th minute when Rodrigo netted the ball for the team. Isco scored another goal in 23rd minute to take the scoreline to 2-0, followed by Thaigo’s goal four minutes later when he headed Alvaro Odriozola’s cross.
Barcelona’s Gerrard Pique received a mixed response in the stadium as he made his 92nd International appearance just after casting his vote in a referendum on Catalan independence, which was deemed illegal by the Spanish govt. Pique is being supported by his side, but has been on the receiving end of boos throughout the week.
“It has been a difficult, complicated week and fortunately we managed to do that in a very, very good first 30 minutes,” Spanish coach was quoted as saying by Spanish TV channel Teledeporte. “We had to concentrate solely on football,” he added. With this victory, Spain have sealed top spot in the group. Italy is on second position after drawing with Macedonia 1-1. Albania’s hopes to qualify have faded.
In group I, Iceland are on the brink of their first finals after a win over Turkey. If they win against Kosovo on Monday, they will become the smallest nation ever to be part of World Cup. 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held in Russia from June 14 to July 15 2018. This will be the first World Cup hosted by an European nation since the year 2006. The final tournament will include 32 teams out of which 31 teams will make it to the tournament through qualifiers. The host team Russia has automatically qualified for the tournament.