No let-up from Spain as Czechs bounce off

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Scotland received a boost as European champions Spain dented the Czech Republic’s hopes of claiming a Euro 2012 play-off spot in Group I with a comfortable 2-0 win thanks to goals by Juan Mata and Xabi Alonso last night.

The win for Spain, who had already qualified for the finals, has left the Czechs two points ahead of Scotland but having played a game more. They must now hope Craig Levein’s side, who play in Liechtenstein today and Spain on Tuesday, drop points.

World and European champions Spain took an early lead when Mata latched onto a through ball and slotted past goalkeeper Petr Cech and they doubled their advantage after 23 minutes when David Silva found Xabi Alonso unmarked in the box to score.

The Czechs had few chances and put themselves under more pressure in the 67th minute when Tomas Huebscham was sent off for a rough tackle on Alonso who had to leave the pitch.