Silva, Costa keep Spain in front of Italy


The uncertainty surrounding the future of Diego Costa at Chelsea continues to linger as the striker made it clear he's waiting for the club's next move after he scored in Spain's victory in Macedonia.

Iniesta cued Silva's 15th-minute strike when he timed his chipped pass to meet Jordi Alba's run into Macedonia's box.

Stefan Ristovski pulled one back on a rare counterattack for Macedonia in the 66th, but Spain controlled the final stretch of the match.

"I think it will be the most important match of the group, but we are playing at home in the Bernabeu and I hope it will be a fortress", said Spain midfielder Francisco "Isco" Alarcon, who set up Diego Costa's goal after a brilliant dribble.

While Spain momentarily wavered, it controlled the final minutes of the match to secure the points.

"They were three important points against opponents that made things hard for us and now it is time to rest".

Spain's Sergio Ramos, top, jumps for the ball with Macedonia's Ilija Nestorovski, bottom, during their World Cup Group G qualifying soccer match at the Philip II National Stadium in Skopje, Macedonia, on Sunday, June 11, 2017. "They have to know what they will do with me". The Live streaming of the FIFA World Cup Qualifier match is on ITV Player (UK), WatchESPN (U.S.).

The Red Lions won their most recent qualifier 3-0 against Liechtenstein, and they were able to pose some problems for Italy in October, losing 3-2 after a late brace from Ciro Immobile, but Spain have all the tools to outclass them here.

However, Spain looked like a side in need of a rest after a long season as they took their foot well off the gas after the break to allow Macedonia back into the game.

Insigne created Italy's second goal in the 52nd, passing for Belotti to curl in a shot.

The Macedonia have lost four matches against Albania (2-1) in the first game, Israel (2-1), Italy (3-2), and Spain (4-0).

Spain somehow failed to convert a huge amount of possession into goals, despite coming in behind the Macedonian defence seemingly at will in the first half.