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WhoScored: Cesc driving Chelsea on

Tactics And Analysis 10 hours ago
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Mar 29, 2009

Spain coach Del Bosque taking nothing for granted

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque is confident complacency will not become an issue for his players even though the European champions appear to already have one foot in next year's World Cup finals.

Spain continued their remarkable run of form with victory over Turkey, centre-back Gerard Pique notching the only goal of a closely-fought contest in the 60th minute.

Not only did that result extend Spain's unbeaten run to 30 matches - of which 28 have been ended in victory - but it also saw them move six points clear of second-placed Bosnia-Herzegovina at the top of Group 5.

It could hardly be better for the Iberian nation at present, but with five of their 10 qualifying matches still to be played and a tricky trip to Istanbul coming up on Wednesday, Del Bosque knows it is not the time to ease off the throttle.

"Firstly we've only played 50% of the qualification phase, so we still have to obtain more points to go to the World Cup and that is going to make us play with the maximum intensity," he said.

"As well as that, any international match is the of the utmost importance to us. Also, we want to continue unbeaten."

Spain's victory over Turkey was their 20th successive triumph - including their penalty shoot-out win over Italy in the quarter-finals of Euro 2008 - but it might have been a different story if Fatih Terim's side had taken some of their first half chances.

Villarreal striker Nihat Kahveci fired one good opportunity wide early on, while Semih Senturk tested home goalkeeper Iker Casillas and poor control from Arda Turan saw another decent opening slip away.

In contrast, Spain seriously threatened only once during the opening period with a 20-yard effort from Fernando Torres.

"It was a difficult game or us, among other things because our opponents defended well and had a very good first half," admitted Del Bosque.

"We've been less fluent than at other times. The second half was better on our part, we didn't really suffer much in defence at all and we had chances.

"Turkey are a strong opponent, who had us under control in the first half and had some chances to go ahead in the scoring.

"It was an intense game against a great team. We controlled the game fairly well, but maybe it wasn't in the style to which we are accustomed."

Spain improved after the break though and Turkey coach Terim admits the home side just about deserved the points - although he warned the European champions not to expect a similar outcome when the teams meet again in Istanbul on Wednesday.

"Looking at the first half I cannot say that Spain's win was fair, but for the second half yes," Terim said.

"Spain, after the goal, played quite well. In the second half they deserved the win. The result is that Spain won, I congratulate them."

He added: "(Wednesday`s) game will be different. We had three clear chances here. Of course we can beat Spain."

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