Marco Asensio scored a hat-trick as Spain delivered a statement of intent for the European Under-21 Championship, thrashing FYR Macedonia 5-0 on Saturday.
Saul Niguez got the ball rolling with an overhead kick from Jose Luis Gaya’s cross, which squirmed in through Aleksovski.
At the other end, Kepa Arrizabalaga did well to get down low and keep out Demiri’s shot from the right, but Asensio issued a quick response, spectacularly curling in a drive from 25 yards out.
With 10 minutes of the first half to spare, Bejtulai blocked Gaya’s cross with his hand for a Spanish penalty, which Gerard Deulofeu converted, sending the Macedonia goalkeeper the wrong way.
Macedonia, to their credit, had started the match confidently and had two more chances, but Kepa managed to fling away Bardhi’s effort, while Babunski’s bouncing volley crashed against the bar.
Nonetheless, Asensio followed up with two more, shimmying his marker and firing across Aleksovski in the Balkans’ box, before coming in from right and bending a shot past the hapless custodian.
Spain U21 5-0 FYR Macedonia U21
Saul 10, Asensio 16, 54, 72, Deulofeu 54
Spain U21: Kepa; Bellerin, Mere, Vallejo, Gaya; Saul, Llorente, Denis; Deulofeu (Ceballos 63), Sandro (Williams 74), Asensio (Oyarzabal 81)
FYR Macedonia U21: Aleksovski; Bejtulai, Velkoski, Zaljkov, Demiri; Nikolev, Bardhi; Radeski, Babunski (Kostadinov 76), Markoski (Gjorgjev 46); Angelov (Elmas 46)
Referee: Lechner (AUT)