Spain vs. Czech Republic - Euro 2016 Group D game - as it happened
Defending European champions Spain begin their Euro 2016 Group D campaign with a game against the Czech Republic - Toulouse (3 p.m. CET/9 a.m. ET, ESPN).
Analysis: Spain were the far superior side throughout but lacked that offensive cutting edge for the entire match. Considering the Czech Republic conceded the most goals throughout qualifying [out of the teams who have qualified for these finals in France], it's a worrying sign that La Roja couldn't break the deadlock until so late, especially after last week's disaster with Georgia.
On the other hand, while the Czech Republic were largely unimpressive, they looked solid at the back at times. Cech saved them several times but they stood firm for the majority of the game. If they had a bit more pace up top, they could've probably threatened more than they did. And in fairness, they did have a couple of good opportunities, most notably in the 92nd and 65th minute.
Read the full match report HERE.
1-0 v Czechs is first time Spain have won opening finals game under Del Bosque [Swiss 0-1 in 2010, Italy 1-1 in 2012, Holland 1-5 in 2014]- Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) June 13, 2016
RECORD: Spain have now kept 6 consecutive clean sheets, extending their European Championship record. pic.twitter.com/qODx7rqcQv- Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 13, 2016
FULL TIME! SPAIN BEAT CZECH REPUBLIC 1-0!
90+2 MINS: The losing side are pushing down the left flank, and they've forced a great shot which is saved by De Gea. Superb chance, but it's right at the Spanish shot stopper who parries away!!!
90+1 MINS: Czech Republic look absolutely shattered out there. Resilient effort, but the far superior side has finally broken free.
90 MINS: Three added minutes here in Toulouse!
88 MINS: Czech look to hit back but their lack of quality in attack is showing once again as they can't keep the ball for longer than a few passes. And to no surprise, Spain are continuing what they do best by playing keep-ball among themselves. Can't see this scoreline changing now.
87 MINS: PIQUE SCORES FOR SPAIN!!!
Great in-swinging cross from Iniesta finds Pique unmarked in the box who nods home. It has been coming, it must be said. Sigh of relief for Vicente Del Bosque.
All those Spain fans whistling Pique through the last two seasons presumably didnt cheer when ball hit the net there...- Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) June 13, 2016
85 MINS: Rosicky nearly puts it in his own net! Looks like a bit of a mix up in communication between him and his teammates with regards to who's clearing that specific Spanish cross, and he sort of miss-kicks it over his own bar. Lucky.
84 MINS: Straight into Cech's hands...
83 MINS: Iniesta feeds in Pedro over the top, but his cross is blocked! Corner kick to Spain.
82 MINS: Just eight minutes left for La Roja to find the net!
81 MINS: Another outstanding last ditch tackle from the Czech inside the six yard box! Spain do not have a cutting edge at all today. Pedro's coming on for Nolito.
79 MINS: This result -- if it stays the same -- is particularly telling for Spain. This Czech side conceded 14 goals in qualifying group stage which is four more than any side at Euros.
78 MINS: Whereas Czech Republic can almost smell that point against the reigning European champions. Like the most of the game, they're sitting deep. They've shown glimpses of counter attacking, but they just don't have the pace. Their biggest weapon so far has been the set piece and also their experience has also proved essential so far in keeping in 0-0, along with Cech's superb form.
77 MINS: Overhead kick from Aduriz goes wide. Nice attempt, though.
Spain are really, really piling it on the Czech's now. They have a minimum of four players inside their opponents box and five just outside as they continue to look for that goal.
75 MINS: Czech sub: Lafata on for Necid.
73 MINS: Another long freekick for Czech, but this time it's straight into the hands of De Gea. Not good execution.
72 MINS: Silva shoots in acres of space outside the box and it's goes well wide! Another good chance.
Just Thiago's 11th cap today and first tournament game for Spain.- Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) June 13, 2016
71 MINS: Rosicky falls to floor again in search of a freekick but it's not given, again! He's not having much luck with the referee today.
69 MINS: Fantastic ball in by Silva to find Alba in the six yard box but his poor first touch lets him down. Such a great chance let slip! All he had to do was poke it towards goal!
67 MINS: That brief period of intent from the Czech Republic seems to have seriously halted the Spanish flow. They're still in control but they look slightly alarmed and aren't playing as fluently as they were 10 minutes ago.
65 MINS: Some superb stuff from Czech right there. The corner's hit towards the back post and a last ditch clearance from Fabregas saves Spain. It finds Limbersky again on the edge of the box and a delicious outside-of-the-boot cross is just as dangerous!
64 MINS: Finally the Czech's have something worth shouting about. They've managed a corner and a chance to whip the ball into the danger zone.
All those saying Spain not playing well / need to change something / lack cutting edge must have forgotten most of 2010 and 2012...- Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) June 13, 2016
63 MINS: Iniesta, to Ramos, to Iniesta, to Busquets, to Fabregas, to Iniesta...
61 MINS: Aduriz on for Morata.
60 MINS: Booking for Limbersky as he fouls Silva.
59 MINS: Still, they can't build on the momentum and we're back to watching Spain pass the ball to one another in their opponents half.
56 MINS: Chance for the Czech Republic! Their long freekick is met by Hubnik at the near post who looks to nestle the ball in the corner, but David De Gea's saves!
54 MINS: Credit must be given to the Czech's so far despite looking largely unimpressive. If you can stop a midfield of Fabregas, Iniesta and Busquets from creating goal scoring opportunities, then you're doing something right.
53 MINS: This explains the match nicely...
51 MINS: Spain growing more and more in confidence and they're pushing higher and higher. Subsequently, they're looking open to the coutnerattack and if Czech Republic can inject some more pace into their attacking frontline, they could have a real go. However, it's a dilemma.
Do you keep the likes of Rosicky on with his experience to earn a draw, or do you swap him for a youthful, pacey attacker in a risky attempt of a win? I have a feeling they'll stick with the first plan.
49 MINS: Pique finds Nolito again beyond the Czech line but he can't make much of it.
48 MINS: Another Spanish corner is this time dealt with efficiently and Rosicky attempts the counterattack down their right flank. However, Iniesta pins him back and reclaims the ball.
47 MINS: Absolute mess of a corner and Czech are let off the hook again by some last ditch defending!
46 MINS: We're back underway here in Toulouse and it's more the same from the Spanish. They've started brightly -- again -- with all the ball despite the Czech's having the initial kick off. Iniesta found Nolito down the right flank and his awkward cross along the deck is nearly gone in as an own goal. It's hit the post and off for the corner!
HALF-TIME AND IT REMAINS 0-0
- Richard Jolly (@RichJolly) June 13, 2016
- Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 13, 2016
Pass accuracy: 90%-67%
Chances created: 9-2
One-way traffic. pic.twitter.com/dRSygLUQwC
- Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) June 13, 2016
44 MINS: Czech counterattack and it's their best chance of the game! Juanfran guilty of playing Necid on side who shoots towards goal after a quick move from him and his teammates. However, it's saved and collected with relative ease by De Gea. Made that look easy as the shot was on target and hit with some genuine power. Still 0-0, though.
43 MINS: Spain continuing with the trend of the game by dictating all the possession and pace of the game. Rosicky and co are throwing in a few niggling fouls to disrupt the Spanish flow, and they'll be happy to head in level at half time.
40 MINS: Spain look like they're starting to target the Czech's right flank and they do seem to be achieving some joy down that side. Czech Republic try a few long balls out of sheer desperation, but nothing comes from them.
Doesnt really suit Rosicky to spend whole time chasing after Iniesta and co. Czechs struggling to get on ball at all now.- Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) June 13, 2016
39 MINS: Another outstanding save from Cech! Alba put through in the box and shoots with power from the left hand side. Great save from the Arsenal keeper who parries away.
38 MINS: Sivok heads the freekick clear.
37 MINS: Iniesta fouled by Rosicky and Spain have the freekick from 35 yards. Very soft.
35 MINS: Even Sergio Busquet's getting in on the act. However, his hopeful long-range volley from outside the box is very high and wide. He needs to be having a word with Modric for a few tips...
33 MINS: Corner's played short and then blocked when Alba eventually decides to whip it in.
32 MINS: Czech Republic must be desperate for half time. Fabregas this time in the box with the ball at his feet. He tries the cross, but it's blocked and out for a corner.
30 MINS: Ball over the top to Morata's not offside to the surprise of many. He waits for the bombarding Alba to his left, who floats in the cross, which is then collected by Cech with ease. Should've have done better with that chance.
28 MINS: Another superb save from Cech forces a Spain corner. Del Bosque's side are knocking on the door.
27 MINS: Freekick to the Czech's in Spain's half, but a couple of short passes was the wrong idea. Spain have shut it down instantly and won the ball back. Wasteful.
Tomas Rosicky has now played more minutes in this game (21) than he played for Arsenal all season (20). #CZE- Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) June 13, 2016
25 MINS: Spain's output has switched from fast, crisp passing to slower, more considered movements. Iniesta's just played a delightful through ball to Morata but some last ditch defending clears it away from inside the box.
23 MINS: He's back to his feet and the Czech's have also managed to string a few passes together. Even playing with five in midfield they're struggling to escape their own half.
21 MINS: Another corner for Spain is met in the air by Pique, but he long, looping header is collected by Cech. Ramos has fallen down with what looks like elbow injury, though. He looks in a lot of pain.
20 MINS: It's starting to feel like it's only a matter of time before Del Bosque's side put the ball in the back of the net. Dominating possession still and have had a couple of decent opportunities now.
18 MINS: ...which is easily dealt with by the Czech Republic. Goal kick.
17 MINS: Similar break for the Spain down the left flank this time, but Alba's cross is blocked and out for a corner...
15 MINS: Glorious opportunity for Spain. David Silva's fed in down the right flank who drills in the cross. Morata meets it but it's straight into the hands of Cech from around four yards out!
Fabregas pretty lucky to get away with push on his close mate Rosicky right on edge of Spain box...- Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) June 13, 2016
14 MINS: But, it's headed over by Ramos. Czech goal kick.
13 MINS: Foul on Morata gifts Spain a chance to whip a freekick in from 25 yards.
11 MINS: Neither side are standing out at the moment. Spain have had the lions share of possession, but little to show for it in terms of attacking opportunities. Czech are holding their own and Necid is proving a useful offensive outlet upfront.
8 MINS: Another chance for Morata from eight yards who's in acres of space but it's saved by Cech. It's pulled back for offside, but still a great save nonetheless.
7 MINS: Attacking chance for Spain as Juanfran whips in a low cross, but it's cleared.
5 MINS: Shocking freekick straight into the wall. Spain look to counter, but Fabregas' long ball holds too much power and bounces out of play for a Cech goalkick.
4 MINS: The Spain back four already showing signs of weakness as Pique gifts Czech a close-range freekick from the left of the box. Shooting opportunity.
3 MINS: But, like all know in football, possession means little if you can't turn that into an attacking chance. The Czech's have pinched the ball and forced the corner, which was headed away for another by Ramos.
1 MIN: Obviously, little can be told from the opening minute, but Spain have started very confidently. The Czech's haven't even touched the ball yet and the reigning Euro champions are passing with ease.
2.00 BST: WE'RE OFF!
13.58 BST: Kick off's just moments away. The Spanish fans are out in force here in Toulouse.
13.55 BST: One thing they do have in their favour is a vast amount of experience. Rosicky, Cech and Plasil have 324 caps between them and all three operate at the highest level of club football, too.
13.50 BST: Not the most impressive year for Czech Republic, it has to be said. They were beaten at home by Scotland and South Korea. However, they did manage to beat Russia 2-1 away from home earlier this month, proving they're more than capable of causing an upset on their day.
13.44 BST: Couple of interesting stats from our Spain writer Dermot Corrigan...
Spain have not won opening game at finals under Del Bosque - 0-1 v Switzerland at WC10, 1-1 v Italy at Euro12 & 1-5 v Holland at WC14.- Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) June 13, 2016
Spain's squad has combined 262 career trophies [club & country], next Germany 164, Portugal 160, Ukraine 129 [via @marca]. Last Wales 17.- Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) June 13, 2016
13.38 BST: Despite Spain's poor build-up to the tournament -- which includes a recent shock 1-0 defeat to Georgia -- they've actually only conceded one goal in their last 15 hours and 18 minutes of football at the Euro finals.
12.50 BST: David De Gea has been chosen to start in goal for Spain's opening Euro 2016 game against Czech Republic ahead of Iker Casillas.
De Gea, 25, made his first international appearance for Spain in 2014 but had to wait until Oct. 2015 to make his competitive debut in a 4-0 win against Luxembourg during qualifying for the tournament.
Spain XI: De Gea, Juanfran, Ramos, Pique, Alba, Busquets, Iniesta, Fabregas, Silva, Nolito, Morata.
Czech Republic XI: Cech, Kaderabek, Sivok, Hubnik, Limbersky, Darida, Plasil, Gebre-Selassie, Krejci, Rosicky, Necid.