Thiago 'thrilled' with World Cup qualification after 2014 heartache

08 October, 2017, 01:13 | Author: Julio Duncan
  • Spain Albania graphic

Rodrigo, Isco and Thiago Alcantara all scored inside the first 30 minutes in Alicante as the 2010 world champions locked up top spot in Group "G".

"It's special because of the work carried out by this national team for the past year and a half, and through sacrifice and hard work, we've qualified earlier than planned".

The result means Italy, who drew 1-1 with Macedonia, will have to qualify for Russian Federation via the play-offs.

Pique was jeered by fans following his public support for the right of the Catalonians to vote over independence in the wake of the controversial referendum in the region. We ask for there to be a good atmosphere and for the fans to enjoy the game.

Much of the talk coming into the match was about Pique and last weekend's events in Catalonia, and Lopetegui hailed the fans who cheered the Barca man upon coming off in the 60th minute.

Brazil, Spain, Germany, England, Belgium, Mexico, Iran, South Korea and Saudi Arabia have all booked their place in Russian Federation for next summer's showdown.

Spain's Isco celebrates scoring his side's second goal with teammates on Friday.

"I have never planned such a thing or prepared to do it".

The brilliant 19-year-old scored one and made another to cap a sensational 19-minute burst at the start of this crucial World Cup qualifier to see off a shellshocked Panama team and help the USA take a firm step towards next year's finals.

"You can see their quality".

Regarding the game, which saw Albania suffer a fourth defeat in qualifying but remain third in the group, Panucci said: "The first goal was very nice, the other two we could have done better with".

Albania actually had a golden chance to get their name on the scoresheet in first-half stoppage time when Grezda robbed Gerard Pique inside the Spain box before attempting to find Llullaku, but Ramos was across to make a fine clearance.



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