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Tuesday 14th
posted by Morning Star in Sport

Spain 1-0 Czech Republic

GERARD PIQUE struck a late winner as defending champions Spain opened their Euro 2016 campaign with a narrow victory over the Czech Republic yesterday.

The Barcelona defender headed in with three minutes left to end the frustration for the holders and seal a 1-0 win.

Spain, 2008 and 2012 European champions, were utterly dominant but looked like drawing a blank until Pique struck in Toulouse in Group D.

Roman Hubnik almost scored an own goal while Alvaro Morata and Jordi Alba were denied by Petr Cech at the Stadium Municipal.

Spain spent most of the game camped inside the Czech half and are now level with Croatia after their 1-0 win over Turkey on Sunday.

David Silva earned his 100th cap while Man United goalkeeper David de Gea started, despite allegations he organised a sex party at which a woman was raped — claims he denies.

Tomas Rosicky, a free agent this summer, also started for the Czechs having played just 19 minutes of football for Arsenal last season.

The Czech Republic had never beaten Spain but made a positive start, although their final ball and Vladimir Darida’s weak free-kick stopped them from seriously threatening.

Pique finally broke the deadlock after 87 minutes when he pounced on Andres Iniesta’s cross to nod past Cech from four yards.