Albert Riera struck a stoppage-time winner as European champions Spain bounced back from a half-time deficit to defeat Turkey in Istanbul and further strengthen their stranglehold on Group Five.
Spain, who had beaten the same opponents 1-0 in Madrid on Saturday, had to do it the hard way after falling behind to Semih Senturk’s 26th-minute tap-in but second-half goals from Liverpool duo Xabi Alonso and Riera earned Vicente del Bosque’s side the spoils.
The victory means Spain, who have a 100% record after six matches in qualifying, are now a massive 10 points above Turkey – who many felt would be their biggest challenger in the pool – and six clear of second-placed Bosnia-Herzegovina, who were 2-1 winners over Belgium tonight.
Aside from that, the win also extended Spain’s current unbeaten run to 31 matches – equalling the national record set under Javier Clemente in the 1990s.
Two goals in three minutes from Edin Dzeko were enough to see Bosnia-Herzegovina to a 2-1 win over Belgium.
Wolfsburg striker Dzeko netted after 12 minutes and again on the quarter-hour mark to put Miroslav Blazevic’s side on the road to victory.
Axel Witsel saw red for Belgium after an hour but the visitors did grab a consolation with two minutes to play, Gill Swerts scoring.
Sander Puri scored a late goal to give Estonia a 1-0 home win in Tallinn.
The midfielder pounced on a loose ball in the area seven minutes from time and converted with a shot to the middle of the net despite defender Robert Arzumanyan’s efforts to block his attempt.