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Vicente Del Bosque stays defiant as Spain labour to opening triumph

Spain 1 - Czech Republic 0

By Glenn Moore

Published 14/06/2016

TOULOUSE, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Sergio Ramos (L) and Juanfran (R) of Spain celebrate their 1-0 win afterthe UEFA EURO 2016 Group D match between Spain and Czech Republic at Stadium Municipal on June 13, 2016 in Toulouse, France. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
TOULOUSE, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Sergio Ramos (L) and Juanfran (R) of Spain celebrate their 1-0 win afterthe UEFA EURO 2016 Group D match between Spain and Czech Republic at Stadium Municipal on June 13, 2016 in Toulouse, France. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Spain's forward Aritz Aduriz (C) vies for the ball during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. Spain won the match 1-0. / AFP PHOTO / NICOLAS TUCATNICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's players celebrate their win after the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. Spain won the match 1-0. / AFP PHOTO / PASCAL GUYOTPASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images
Spain supporters celebrate their team's win after the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. Spain won the match 1-0. / AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOUPIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images
Spain supporters celebrate their teams victory during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Pascal PAVANIPASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images
Czech Republic's forward David Lafata eyes the ball during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. Spain won the match 1-0. / AFP PHOTO / PASCAL GUYOTPASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images
Czech Republic's goalkeeper Petr Cech plays the ball during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. Spain won the match 1-0. / AFP PHOTO / NICOLAS TUCATNICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's players celebrate with supporters after winning the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. Spain won the match 1-0. / AFP PHOTO / PASCAL GUYOTPASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's players celebrate their goal infront of the fans during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Rémy GABALDAREMY GABALDA/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's defender Gerard Pique celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. Spain won the match 1-0. / AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOUPIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's players celebrate their goal infront of the fans during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Rémy GABALDAREMY GABALDA/AFP/Getty Images
Czech Republic players greet the fans following their defeat during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Rémy GABALDAREMY GABALDA/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's midfielder Sergio Busquets (R) and Spain's midfielder Andres Iniesta celebrate after the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. Spain won the match 1-0. / AFP PHOTO / PASCAL GUYOTPASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's defender Gerard Pique (front) is congratulated by Spain's defender Jordi Alba following his goal during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Pascal PAVANIPASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images
TOULOUSE, FRANCE - JUNE 13: David Limbersky of Czech Republic shows his dejection after his team's 0-1 defeat in the UEFA EURO 2016 Group D match between Spain and Czech Republic at Stadium Municipal on June 13, 2016 in Toulouse, France. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
Spain's defender Gerard Pique (R) and Spain's forward Pedro leave the pitch after the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. Spain won the match 1-0. / AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOUPIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's players celebrate after the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. Spain won the match 1-0. / AFP PHOTO / NICOLAS TUCATNICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's defender Gerard Pique (2nd-R) celebrates with Spain's defender Sergio Ramos (R) after his goal during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Pascal PAVANIPASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's defender Gerard Pique celebrates with Spain's defender Sergio Ramos after scoring the opening goal during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. Spain won the match 1-0. / AFP PHOTO / NICOLAS TUCATNICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's defender Gerard Pique celebrates with Spain's defender Sergio Ramos after scoring the opening goal during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. Spain won the match 1-0. / AFP PHOTO / NICOLAS TUCATNICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's Gerard Pique, second right, scores the opening goal during the Euro 2016 Group D soccer match between Spain and the Czech Republic at the Stadium municipal in Toulouse, France, Monday, June 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Spain's players celebrate after scoring the opening goal the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. Spain won the match 1-0. / AFP PHOTO / PASCAL GUYOTPASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images
TOULOUSE, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Jaroslav Plasil of Czech Republic shows his dejection after his team's 0-1 defeat in the UEFA EURO 2016 Group D match between Spain and Czech Republic at Stadium Municipal on June 13, 2016 in Toulouse, France. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
TOULOUSE, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Jaroslav Plasil of Czech Republic shows his dejection after his team's 0-1 defeat in the UEFA EURO 2016 Group D match between Spain and Czech Republic at Stadium Municipal on June 13, 2016 in Toulouse, France. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
Spain's players congratulate Spain's defender Gerard Pique after his goal during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Pascal PAVANIPASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's players celebrate after winning the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. Spain won the match 1-0. / AFP PHOTO / PASCAL GUYOTPASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's players celebrate after winning the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. Spain won the match 1-0. / AFP PHOTO / PASCAL GUYOTPASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images
Czech Republic's goalkeeper Petr Cech (R) stops a shot by Spain's forward Alvaro Morata (C) during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Pascal PAVANIPASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images
Czech Republic's players leave the pitch after the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. Spain won the match 1-0. / AFP PHOTO / PASCAL GUYOTPASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's midfielder Cesc Fabregas (L) attempts a tackle on Czech Republic's midfielder Tomas Rosicky during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Pascal PAVANIPASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images
Czech Republic's goalkeeper Petr Cech (L) punches the ball away from Spain's defender Sergio Ramos (C) during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Pascal PAVANIPASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images
Czech Republic's defender Theodor Gebre Selassie acknowledges the fans after the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. Spain won the match 1-0. / AFP PHOTO / PASCAL GUYOTPASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images
TOULOUSE, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Sergio Ramos of Spain applauds the supporters after his team's 1-0 win in the UEFA EURO 2016 Group D match between Spain and Czech Republic at Stadium Municipal on June 13, 2016 in Toulouse, France. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Spain's forward Alvaro Morata (2-R) dribbles past Czech Republic's defender Pavel Kaderabek (C-L) and Czech Republic's defender Roman Hubnik (R) during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Pascal PAVANIPASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's midfielder Cesc Fabregas (C) is marked by Czech Republic's defender Theodor Gebre Selassie (L), Czech Republic's midfielder Vladimir Darida (R) and Czech Republic's defender Tomas Sivok (top) during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Pascal PAVANIPASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images
Czech Republic's goalkeeper Petr Cech (2nd L) reacts next to Spain's forward Aritz Aduriz (L) during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. Spain won the match 1-0. / AFP PHOTO / PASCAL GUYOTPASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images
TOULOUSE, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Sergio Ramos of Spain and Josef Sural of Czech Republic compete for the ball during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group D match between Spain and Czech Republic at Stadium Municipal on June 13, 2016 in Toulouse, France. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Czech Republic's goalkeeper Petr Cech (L) stops the ball during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. Spain won the match 1-0. / AFP PHOTO / PASCAL GUYOTPASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images
TOULOUSE, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Juanfran of Spain in action during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group D match between Spain and Czech Republic at Stadium Municipal on June 13, 2016 in Toulouse, France. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
Spain's midfielder David Silva (C) dribbles past Czech Republic's midfielder Vladimir Darida (R) during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Pascal PAVANIPASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's midfielder Sergio Busquets (L) vies with Czech Republic's defender Theodor Gebre Selassie and Czech Republic's midfielder Tomas Rosicky during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. Spain won the match 1-0. / AFP PHOTO / PASCAL GUYOTPASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images
TOULOUSE, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Gerard Pique of Spain celebrates his team's win after the UEFA EURO 2016 Group D match between Spain and Czech Republic at Stadium Municipal on June 13, 2016 in Toulouse, France. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Spain's defender Sergio Ramos greets the fan following their win during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Rémy GABALDAREMY GABALDA/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's defender Juanfran (L) jumps over Czech Republic's midfielder Tomas Rosicky during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Pascal PAVANIPASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images
TOULOUSE, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Spain supporters cheer during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group D match between Spain and Czech Republic at Stadium Municipal on June 13, 2016 in Toulouse, France. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Spain's players celebrate their goal during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Rémy GABALDAREMY GABALDA/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's players celebrate their goal during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Rémy GABALDAREMY GABALDA/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's defender Gerard Pique celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. Spain won the match 1-0. / AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOUPIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's players celebrate their goal during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Rémy GABALDAREMY GABALDA/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's midfielder Cesc Fabregas (C, #10) clears the ball during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Pascal PAVANIPASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's defender Gerard Pique (L) celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. Spain won the match 1-0. / AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOUPIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's defender Sergio Ramos (C) reacts after Spain's defender Gerard Pique (C-R) scored past Czech Republic's goalkeeper Petr Cech (L) during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Pascal PAVANIPASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's defender Gerard Pique (R) scores a goal past Czech Republic's goalkeeper Petr Cech (L) during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. Spain won the match 1-0. / AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOUPIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images
Czech Republic's defender David Limbersky walks past as Spain's players celebrate after Spain's defender Gerard Pique scored the opening goal during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. Spain won the match 1-0. / AFP PHOTO / PASCAL GUYOTPASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's defender Gerard Pique (R) scores a goal past Czech Republic's goalkeeper Petr Cech (L) during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. Spain won the match 1-0. / AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOUPIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's defender Gerard Pique (R) celebrates with Spain's midfielder Thiago Alcantara after scoring the opening goal during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / NICOLAS TUCATNICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images
TOULOUSE, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Jordi Alba (L) of Spain celebrates his team's first goal scored by Gerard Pique (C) during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group D match between Spain and Czech Republic at Stadium Municipal on June 13, 2016 in Toulouse, France. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
TOULOUSE, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Gerard Pique of Spain celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group D match between Spain and Czech Republic at Stadium Municipal on June 13, 2016 in Toulouse, France. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
TOULOUSE, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Vladimir Darida of Czech Republic shows his dejection after his team's 0-1 defeat in the UEFA EURO 2016 Group D match between Spain and Czech Republic at Stadium Municipal on June 13, 2016 in Toulouse, France. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
Spain's defender Gerard Pique (L) and Spain's defender Sergio Ramos celebrate after Pique scored the opening goal during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / NICOLAS TUCATNICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images
TOULOUSE, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Gerard Pique (3rd R, obscured) of Spain heads the ball to score his team's first goal past Petr Cech of Czech Republic during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group D match between Spain and Czech Republic at Stadium Municipal on June 13, 2016 in Toulouse, France. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Spain's Aritz Aduriz, right, attempts an overhead kick at goal during the Euro 2016 Group D soccer match between Spain and the Czech Republic at the Stadium municipal in Toulouse, France, Monday, June 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
TOULOUSE, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Gerard Pique (2nd R) of Spain heads the ball to score his team's first goal past Petr Cech (1st L) of Czech Republic during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group D match between Spain and Czech Republic at Stadium Municipal on June 13, 2016 in Toulouse, France. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
TOULOUSE, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Gerard Pique (2nd L) of Spain celebrates scoring his team's first goal with his team mates during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group D match between Spain and Czech Republic at Stadium Municipal on June 13, 2016 in Toulouse, France. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Spain's defender Gerard Pique and Spain's defender Sergio Ramos celebrate after Pique scored the opening goal during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / NICOLAS TUCATNICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's defender Gerard Pique (C, top) gestures in celebration after scoring during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Pascal PAVANIPASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images
TOULOUSE, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Gerard Pique (L) of Spain celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group D match between Spain and Czech Republic at Stadium Municipal on June 13, 2016 in Toulouse, France. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
TOULOUSE, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Gerard Pique of Spain celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group D match between Spain and Czech Republic at Stadium Municipal on June 13, 2016 in Toulouse, France. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
TOULOUSE, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Gerard Pique (L) of Spain celebrates scoring his team's first goal with his team mate Sergio Ramos (R) during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group D match between Spain and Czech Republic at Stadium Municipal on June 13, 2016 in Toulouse, France. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Czech Republic's defender David Limbersky walks past as Spain's players celebrate after Spain's defender Gerard Pique scored the opening goal during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / PASCAL GUYOTPASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's players celebrate after Spain's defender Gerard Pique scored the opening goal during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / NICOLAS TUCATNICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's players celebrate after Spain's defender Gerard Pique (C) scored the opening goal during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOUPIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's players celebrate after Spain's defender Gerard Pique (C) scored the opening goal during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOUPIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images
TOULOUSE, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Gerard Pique (C) of Spain celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group D match between Spain and Czech Republic at Stadium Municipal on June 13, 2016 in Toulouse, France. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Spain's midfielder Sergio Busquets (L) and Czech Republic's forward David Lafata vie for the ball during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / NICOLAS TUCATNICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images
Czech Republic's defender Pavel Kaderabek (L) and Spain's midfielder Cesc Fabregas vie for the ball during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / NICOLAS TUCATNICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images
TOULOUSE, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Gerard Pique of Spain heads the ball to score his team's first goal during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group D match between Spain and Czech Republic at Stadium Municipal on June 13, 2016 in Toulouse, France. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Spain's forward Aritz Aduriz L) and Czech Republic's defender Tomas Sivok vie for the ball during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / NICOLAS TUCATNICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's players celebrate their opening goal during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Pascal PAVANIPASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images
TOULOUSE, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Andres Iniesta of Spain in action during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group D match between Spain and Czech Republic at Stadium Municipal on June 13, 2016 in Toulouse, France. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Spain's midfielder David Silva (L) is challenged by Czech Republic's midfielder Vladimir Darida (C) during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOUPIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images
Czech Republic's forward Tomas Necid (R) and Spain's forward Lucas Vázquez clash during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / NICOLAS TUCATNICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images
Spain's midfielder Andres Iniesta (R) is marked by Czech Republic's midfielder and captain Tomas Rosicky during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Rémy GABALDAREMY GABALDA/AFP/Getty Images
Czech Republic's goalkeeper Petr Cech warms-up ahead of the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016.
Spain players huddle together ahead of the Euro 2016 group D football match between Spain and Czech Republic at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse on June 13, 2016.
Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane during a training session at the Stade de France, Paris.
Republic of Ireland's Shane Duffy during a training session at the Stade de France, Paris.
Republic of Ireland's Shane Long during a training session at the Stade de France, Paris.
Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane during a training session at the Stade de France, Paris.

After winning a tournament opening game at the third attempt Spanish coach Vicente Del Bosque was in no mood to accept criticism of his team's performance.

The defending back-to-back champions required a very late winner from Gerard Pique to see off a dogged Czech side but Del Bosque insisted: "We created a lot of chances, that is the important thing. We had the game completely under control and that is the important thing.

"Everything wants to score more goals but we have not been too bad these last few years, playing this style.

Andres Iniesta, by some distance the man of the match, said: "This is not the first time we have had this kind of match, against a team defending deep, it means they have a lot of respect for how we play the game.

"There is not a set way to break down such teams, you have to be calm, keep going forward until you achieve what you want. Running 90 minutes after the ball makes you very tired - it is difficult to keep going like that, so we need to be patient."

Pavel Vrba, the Czech coach, said: "We played like that because it is the Spanish.

"They are another level to us, but we hope not to defend so much against the other teams.

"We hope to get four points from the other two matches [against Croatia and Turkey].We gave everything."

Del Bosque added: "I think it has been an even tournament.

"There has only been one game with a lot of goals [aside from Germany's 2-0 win over Ukraine all matches to date had been settled by one goal].

"This shows how even the teams are. We have three points. Now we want to go as far as possible." Spain are now unbeaten in their last 13 Euro finals games, since a 1-0 loss to Portugal in 2004.

Spain: De Gea, Juanfran, Pique, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba, Fabregas (Thiago 70), Busquets, Iniesta, Silva, Morata (Aduriz 62), Nolito (Pedro 82).

Subs not used: Casillas, Azpilicueta, Bartra, Koke, Lucas, Bellerin, San Jose, Bruno, Sergio Rico.

Goals: Pique 87.

Czech Republic: Cech, Kaderabek,Sivok, Hubnik, Limbersky, Darida, Plasil, Gebre Selassie (Sural 86), Rosicky (Pavelka 88), Krejci, Necid (Lafata 75).

Subs not used: Vaclik, Kadlec, Dockal, Pudil, Skoda, Kolar, Skalak, Koubek.

Booked: Limbersky.

Possession: Spain 72%, Czech Rep 28%

Shots: Spain 18, Czech Rep 6

Shots on target: Spain 5, Czech Rep 3

Referee: Szymon Marciniak (Poland).

 

 

Belfast Telegraph

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