NICE (APP) – Defending European champions Spain booked their place in the last of 16 round in Euro 2016 with a convincing 3-0 win against Turkey in Nice on Friday.
Vicente del Bosque’s men bossed the Group D tie from the kickoff, with a double by Juventus Alvaro Morata and a first competitive international goal for Nolito sealing a comfortable win.
“We showed our winning mentality and great team spirit here tonight,” said Andres Iniesta, who was awarded man-of-the-match.
“It depends on ourselves how far we go here, the feelings we have are very positive at the moment,” he said.
Turkey could also face UEFA sanctions after sections of their support lit flares and threw firecrackers onto the pitch at full-time.
Spain, aiming for an unprecedented third consecutive Euro title, can seal top spot in the pool with just a draw against Croatia in their final group game on Tuesday.
Turkey need to beat the Czech Republic in their final match and hope other results go their way to have any chance of progressing as one of the four best third-placed sides from the six groups.
“We have completed our first objective, to qualify for the next round, we controlled the game almost for the whole 90 minutes and we scored goals, so it was perfect,” Del Bosque said.
“But we haven’t won anything yet, we are on a good path but there is still a long way to go,” he added.
Before the game, Turkey coach Fatih Terim had called for more “fight” from his side to keep their Euro 2016 hopes alive after an out-of-sorts display against Croatia on Sunday, and for a while his players responded.
Sitting deep and launching the occasional counter-attack, Hakan Calhanoglu roused Turkey s raucous fans by sending a free-kick just over David de Gea’s crossbar on 25 minutes.
From the half-hour mark though, Spain moved up a gear, starving Turkey of possession and, with Iniesta pulling the strings in midfield, carving out chance after chance.
Terim lambasted his players for not giving their all for the cause.
“Today our national team threw in the towel, I didn t like it,” he said.
“Spain are a special team, one of the strongest sides in the tournament, the first 30 minutes was okay but afterwards we didn’t play well,” he said.
Individual mistakes caused at least one of the goals, said the 62-year-old Terim who guided Turkey to the European Championship semi-final in 2008.
“One of them was unbelievable, even the smallest chances you can t give Spain, otherwise there is no way to resist them”.
Fancied by some as dark horses to at least escape the group, they didn’t manage a shot on target during the game, while their fans even took to booing their star player, Barcelona’s Arda Turan, late on.