2016 European Championship, Group Stage 2016
  • Álvaro Morata (34', 48')
  • Nolito (37')

Spain cruise past Turkey to advance to knockout stage

Spain booked their place in the knockout stage of Euro 2016 by easing to a 3-0 victory over Turkey in Nice on Friday.

Alvaro Morata and Nolito scored in a four-minute span in the first half to put the defending champions on their way to a second-straight win in Group D following Monday's 1-0 win over the Czech Republic.

Morata added his second shortly after half-time as Spain became the first team to score three goals in one game at the tournament.

Turkey were overmatched for the majority of the game, but they nearly broke out on the counter-attack in the first minute, only for Sergio Ramos to be booked for his challenge to halt Burak Yilmaz, who was booked himself in the ninth minute while trying to hold off Sergio Busquets.

Spain's first chance of note came in the 11th minute when Jordi Alba tried to find Morata with a cross at the near post, but Gokhan Gonul poked it away at the last moment.

Gerard Pique nearly scored from the resulting corner, but he put his header into the ground, and the ball bounced up and over the bar.

Nolito threatened to score from distance in the 29th minute, but his shot form the top of the box whistled past the post with the goalkeeper outstretched.

But it wasn't long before La Roja found the breakthrough, as Nolito curled in cross that Morata flicked on with his head to score in the 34th minute.

And four minutes later, it was Nolito who doubled Spain's lead. Turkey defender Mehmet Topal could only get a slight touch of his head to Cesc Fabregas' lofted through ball, and it fell for Nolito to score, even if he did scuff his shot a bit.

Nuri Sahin replaced Hakan Calhanoglu at half-time for Turkey, but a comeback was never on the cards as Spain made it 3-0 in the 49th minute.

With Turkey barely pressuring Spain in possession, Iniesta found a streaking Jordi Alba, who could have been flagged for offside while making his diagonal run behind the defence, and he passed across for Morata to tap in his second goal and put the game firmly out of reach.

Spain had 21 passes in the buildup to the goal -- the most so far at Euro 2016 -- with Pique the only outfield player not involved.

Morata almost completed his hat trick a minute later as Iniesta's cross from the centre found the Juventus man alone, but his angled headed was wide.

Turkey's best chance of the game came soon afterward, when Yilmaz turned Pique inside the box, but he could not keep his shot from 10 yards on target. Substitute Cesar Azpilicueta did well to snuff out an attack late on to preserve a clean sheet for David De Gea, who did not have to stop a shot on target.

Spain have six points and will win Group D if they avoid defeat against second-placed Croatia in their next game on Tuesday.

Turkey lost for the second straight match but still maintain hope to move on if they can defeat Czech Republic in the final group-stage game.