Diego Costa opened his goalscoring account with Spain as they cruised to their second Euro 2016 qualifying win on Sunday night. Despite wasting chances in the first half, Spain led through David Silva’s clinical finish to the top corner and Paco Alcacer’s first-time drill home.
Diego Costa had been most at fault, but scored his first international goal from close range in the second half. It took the Chelsea striker, previously capped twice for Brazil before switching allegiance, until his seventh Spain appearance to score his first international goal. Bayern Munich‘s Juan Bernat scored the fourth goal which ensured that the defending champions are back on their high note.
Casillas, who made an error in Thursday’s 2-1 defeat by Slovakia, was replaced by Manchester United‘s David De Gea. Carvajal with Pique, Bartra and Alba started at the back for La Roja.
Sergio Busquets, Koke, Iniesta and David Silva started in midfield just behind Chelsea’s ace Diego Costa and inform Alcacer Garcia.
Joubert; Chanot, Jänisch, Jans, Philipps; Gerson, Martins, Mutsch, Holter; Da Mota, Bensi
De Gea; Carvajal, Pique, Bartra, Alba; Busquets, Koke, Iniesta, Silva; Alcacer, Costa.
Vicente del Bosque made four changes following Spain’s defeat by Slovakia and goals from David Silva, Paco Alcacer, Diego Costa and Juan Bernat were enough for the European champions, who were captained for the first time by midfielder Andrés Iniesta.
The opening minutes set the tempo for the rest of the match, with Spain dominating possession and Luxembourg intent on soaking up pressure. Luxembourg goalkeeper Jonathan Joubert twice denied Costa, which eventually came through Silva, who fired an unstoppable drive into the net after 27 minutes from just outside the box.
The goal brought a relief for Spain, Costa was again involved shortly after, latching onto a long ball before failing to convert his shot when one-on-one with Joubert. Inform Alcácer confirmed no such problems, firing in Silva’s pass five minutes from half-time to double the lead and give the forward three goals in three competitive games for La Roja.
The second half followed a similar pattern to that of the first, with Spain on the front foot, and 20 minutes from time Costa was eventually able to score his first international goal after a error in the box following a Koke free-kick. Juan Bernat, making his debut after coming on as a second-half substitute, rounded off the scoring on the counterattack with three minutes to go.
Group C leaders Slovakia drew 1-1 with Belarus, and Spain go second, one point behind them and ahead of Ukraine, 1-0 winners over Macedonia, on goal difference.