Spain dash Scotland’s Euro 2012 dreams with 3-1 victory in Alicante

Euro 2012 Group I qualifying matchday 8
Tuesday October 11, 2011 (19.45 UK)

Silva 6, 44, Villa 54 – Goodwillie (pen) 66
Estadio Jose Rico Perez, Alicante

Two first-half strikes from David Silva set Spain on the road to a 3-1 victory against Scotland in their final Euro 2012 qualifier in Alicante as Craig Levein’s side missed out on a place in Poland and Ukraine next year.

The Manchester City man took just six minutes to put the hosts ahead when he drilled past Allan McGregor after good work down the left by debutant Jordi Alba had set him up. After that the Scots found it difficult to get hold of the ball as Spain monopolised possession and Silva went close again before Carles Puyol’s header from a corner went just wide.

Scotland did manage to make some inroads into the Spanish defence as the half wore on, with Craig Mackail-Smith causing problems with his pace and Darren Fletcher shooting just over.

However, after McGregor had superbly turned a deflected David Villa effort round the post, Silva notched his second of the night, coolly slotting the ball into the bottom corner past a helpless McGregor after playing a one-two with Pedro on the edge of the box.

Silva could have had his hat-trick a minute after the restart when his shot flew wide, but on 54 minutes David Villa did make it 3-0 when he side-footed home from inside the box following Silva’s pass to record his 50th international goal.

Nonetheless, the visitors were thrown a lifeline 10 minutes later when goalkeeper Victor Vald

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