Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has warned his side not to think the hard work in their quest to reach the World Cup finals is over, despite continuing their 100% record in Group Five.
Spain made it seven wins out of seven on the road to South Africa after thrashing Belgium in La Coruna last night. But they are still not assured of a place in next year‘s finals, because second-placed Bosnia-Herzegovina are six points behind with three games remaining.
One of those matches sees Spain travel to Bosnia-Herzegovina in the final round of fixtures, and Del Bosque will be hoping his side have their World Cup ticket booked well before that game.
“It‘s a pity that after seven wins in seven encounters we still aren‘t qualified, and that‘s largely because of the pressure by Bosnia – who have won again,” said Del Bosque.
“We need to continue pushing on, because there are still four points needed to be mathematically sure of going through – and we cannot take anything for granted until we‘ve achieve it.”
If Spain carry on producing the kind of performance they did against Belgium, though, not only will the European champions have no problem reaching South Africa, they will also be hard to stop once they are there.
Last night‘s final scoreline was 5-0, but it could have been much greater - with a hugely impressive Spain side denied by the woodwork, some great goalkeeping and some indifferent finishing. David Villa also missed a first-half penalty.
In the end, two goals from Valencia duo Villa and David Silva – plus another from Gerard Pique – gave Spain the spoils and earned Del Bosque his 16th win in 17 games since he replaced Luis Aragones after Euro 2008.
“The team are carrying on the momentum from the European Championship which they won a year ago. We‘ve played very well, with brilliant moments, against a good opponent who we‘ve overcome with our quality and speed,” Del Bosque told AS.
Spain are next in action against Estonia in Merida on Wednesday, when they could secure qualification to the World Cup finals depending on what happens in that math and how Bosnia-Herzegovina do in their tricky home fixture against Turkey.
Del Bosque is hoping the fans in Merida will give his side the same sort of support they received in La Coruna this weekend – and that his players can respond with a similar performance.
“I hope we can enjoy it again. The fans here at the Riazor were magnificent, sensational and extraordinary from the moment we arrived – both in quantity and quality,” he said.