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Thursday, 16 November 2023 21:57

Spain wins at Cyprus to stay 1st in its Euro 2024 qualifying group.

Staff Reporter.

(AP) - Already secured in the 2024 European Championship, Spain defeated Cyprus 3-1 to remain in first place in its qualifying group on Thursday.

Lamine Yamal, Mikel Oyarzabal and Joselu each scored first-half goals to give Spain a two-point lead in Group A over second-place Scotland, which drew 2-2 at Georgia.

Spain’s final match will be against Georgia on Sunday in Valladolid, while Scotland will host Norway.

It was the final qualifying game for Cyprus, which ended with no points and a goal difference of minus 25 after eight losses. The goal against Spain was the team’s third overall. The others had come against Georgia and Norway.

Yamal opened the scoring in the fifth minute after a couple of nifty moves to clear the goalkeeper and a defender in front of the net. Oyarzabal added to the lead from close range in the 22nd in a goal that was initially disallowed for offside, and Joselu scored the third after a corner taken by Oyarzabal in the 28th.

Substitute Kostas Pileas scored Cyprus’ lone goal in a breakaway in the 75th.

Oyarzabal had to be substituted in the 40th with an apparent muscle injury on his left thigh. He was replaced by Rodrigo Riquelme, the Atletico Madrid midfielder who made his debut with the national team.

Bayer Leverkusen defender Alejandro Grimaldo also made his debut for Spain.