Copy of 2022-06-12T194157Z_1245663721_UP1EI6C1IPUVU_RTRMADP_3_SOCCER-UEFANATIONS-ESP-CZE-REPORT-1655105121567
Spain's Carlos Soler celebrates scoring their first goal. Image Credit: REUTERS

Malaga: Goals from Carlos Soler and Pablo Sarabia earned Spain a 2-0 win over Czech Republic on Sunday, a result that put them on top of UEFA Nations League Group A2.

Last year’s finalists dominated the game from the start and opened the scoring when Soler struck from close range in the 24th minute following a brilliant pass by man-of-the-match Marco Asensio.

Substitute Sarabia extended Spains lead in the 75th minute, finishing a counter-attack started by Barcelona’s 17-year-old midfielder Gavi.

Top of Group A2

The Spaniards, who wore the women’s team jersey to support their female counterparts who will play the Womens European Championship next month in England, top Group A2 standings with eight points from four matches.

Portugal dropped to second with seven points following a 1-0 defeat by Switzerland.

Third-placed Czech Republic have four points, one ahead Switzerland, who recorded their first win in this year’s competition.

Luis Enrique made nine changes to the starting line-up that beat Switzerland 1-0 on Thursday.

Making his first start for Spain since November 2020, Asensio provided the pass which Soler fired in from close range.

Lacked precision

Spain kept threatening the Czechs and enjoyed 73% of possession but often lacked the precision to make it count. They only managed to score after Gavi came off the bench in the second half.

In the 75th minute, the teenager stole the ball and raced past two opposing players before passing through to Ferran Torres, who crossed to Sarabia. The Paris St Germain midfielder was left to fire the ball into an empty goal.

“It was all perfect,” Soler told TVE.

“We came wanting to give those fans who created an amazing atmosphere a win and it came accompanied by a great performance.

“Ending up the group leaders is the cherry on top, so it was a great effort and a fabulous night.”