Morata double guides impressive Spain into round of 16

Reuters , Friday 17 Jun 2016

Alvaro Morata
Spain's Alvaro Morata scores his side’s third goal past Turkey goalkeeper Volkan Babacan during the Euro 2016 Group D soccer match between Spain and Turkey at the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice, France, Friday, June 17, 2016 (AP)

Holders Spain became the first team to score more than two goals in a game at Euro 2016, beating Turkey 3-0 as Andres Iniesta shone again and forward Alvaro Morata answered his critics with two goals.

The defending champions also achieved their first objective, which was to avoid a repeat of their dismal first round exit at the last World Cup, as they booked a place in the round of 16 with a game to spare.

Spain have won both their games in group D without conceding a goal and Turkey have lost both of theirs without scoring.

Turkey made a reasonably positive start but fell apart after Morata, criticised after being largely ineffective in the 1-0 win over Croatia, and Nolito struck in quick succession before halftime.

Spain virtually walked the ball into the net for the third, Morata tapping home after Iniesta threaded one of the best passes of the tournament through a bewildered Turkish defence.

Iniesta, passing the ball immaculately as always, orchestrated the Spanish midfield, ably assistant by Nolito and David Silva as his side gave the most dominant performance of the tournament so far.

Turkey captain Arda Turan had another low-key game and, for a period during the second half, was jeered by the Turkish fans every time he touched the ball.

Spain began in their usual style, passing the ball around for long periods and patiently probing for an opening.

Turkey got forward occasionally and there was anticipation in the stadium when they won a free kick around 30 metres out. Specialist Hakan Calhanoglu stepped up but curled his dipping effort onto the roof of the net.

The breakthrough came after 34 minutes when a typical sequence of passes down the left ended with Nolito swinging a cross into the area and Morata squeezed between two defenders to head past Volkan Babacan.

Spain struck again three minutes later, helped by a mistake from Mehmet Topal.

Cesc Fabregas lifted a pass into the area and, although Topal got his head to it, he could only send the ball backwards towards Nolito, who slotted the ball past Babacan.

Spain were toying with their opponents by now and struck again just three minutes into the second half.

Iniesta advanced, then produced his geometrically perfect pass to Jordi Alba, who touched it to Morata for the beautifully simple third.

Spain eased off after that, passing the ball around nonchalantly for long spells while the Turkish fans vented their wrath on Turan.

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