Isco stunner helps Spain past Belarus

Isco, Sergio Busquets and Pedro Rodriguez scored as Spain comfortably beat Belarus in a Euro 2016 qualifier.

The Real Madrid playmaker opened the scoring with a fabulous goal, in-keeping with an excellent performance, curling right-footed into the top left corner of the Belarus net after Koke regained possession on the edge of the opponents’ penalty area.

Busquets scored with the next attack after a cross was only cleared to the Barcelona midfielder, 25 yards out, and he rifled a shot that deflected past Yuri Zhevnov for his second Spain goal.

It was three before the hour thanks to Pedro, who profited from a neat exchange between Santi Cazorla and Juanfran and finished with an emphatic shot.

Spain went into the game in third place in Group C following Ukraine’s win over Luxembourg but victory means second is regained.

Isco made his fifth appearance for La Roja while Pedro was used as a forward to partner Paco Alcacer. Belarus went with a back five and a four-man midfield, looking to frustrate the European champions.

Pedro had the first chance of the game, sending a left-foot shot wide of the post after a slide-rule pass from Santi Cazorla before Alcacer scuffed a volley after a neat move put Juanfran in space on the wing and his cross found the Valencia man.

Isco showed Alcacer how it’s done shortly after with a truly stunning goal and Busquets doubled the lead minutes later with a powerful, deflected strike that beat the goalkeeper at his near post.

Spain were in complete control even before the two quick goals but after there was little more than a token attempt at a response from Belarus.

The hosts probed for a third goal before the interval and kept looking after the break as Alcacer flashed a header past the near post.

Spain weren’t kept waiting long, Cazorla and Juanfran combining to find Pedro, who lashed into the back of the net.

Isco was at the heart of things all night for Spain, orchestrating one delightful move but just misjudging the final pass.

It was a standout performance from the ex-Malaga midfielder, although if Pedro’s overhead kick had found the net, it would have hogged the headlines. Instead, Pedro could only send the ball the opposite direction from the Belarus goal.

Pedro hit the post with a powerful effort in the final moments, latching on to a Bruno Soriano pass and beating the goalkeeper completely, but not the woodwork.

The scoring ended at three with Jose Callejon and Alvaro Morata getting debuts, the former the 50th to be given his first cap by Del Bosque.

But the night belonged to Isco, an outstanding goal the headline on an impressive display from the Madrid starlet.

Spain 3-0 Belarus

Isco 17, Busquets 19, Pedro 54

Spain: Casillas; Juanfran, Pique, Ramos, Alba; Cazorla (Callejon 68), Busquets (Bruno 46), Koke, Isco (Morata 80); Alcacer, Pedro

Belarus: Zhevnov; Martynovich (Bordachev 30), Politevich, Yanushkevich, Dragun, Balanovich; Krivets (Kislyak 80), Mateychik, Kalachev; Kornilenko (Signevich 67)

Referee: Kenn Hansen (DEN)

Tags Belarus Euro 2016 Isco Pedro Rodriguez Sergio Busquets Spain
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