Ferran Torres nets winner as Spain beat Albania to maintain 100 per cent record

An early goal from Ferran Torres proved enough for a much-changed Spain side to seal their place in the knockout stages of Euro 2024 with a 100 per cent record after a 1-0 win over Albania in Dusseldorf.

With their qualification from Group B already assured, Spain head coach Luis de la Fuente made a staggering 10 changes, with Aymeric Laporte the only player to survive their previous win over Italy.

And despite having to withstand a stirring start from the Albanians, who realistically needed a win to advance from Group B, Torres’ neat 13th-minute strike capped a comfortable enough night for Spain.

Sylvinho’s underdogs had looked menacing for the first 10 minutes but their momentum soon ebbed and it was Albanian keeper Thomas Strakosha who had to make the first save of the game as he denied a clever Jesus Navas cross.

Joselu headed a Laporte cross over from close range before Torres grabbed the lead when he met a brilliant cross from Dani Olmo with a first-time effort that ricocheted in off Strakosha’s right-hand post.

De la Fuente’s new-look line-up soon entered cruise control while the Albanians, who required a win to stand any hope of advancing, showed only glimpses of promise through the likes of Nedim Bajrami and Kristjan Asllani.

The Albanians were almost gifted an equaliser after 37 minutes when Spain keeper David Raya, under no pressure, booted a clearance against the back of the unsuspecting Laporte only for the ball to bounce gratefully back into his arms.

The ineffective Mikel Merino missed the target from long range before Albania ended the first period with some promise and the dangerous Asllani tried an effort that Raya gathered.

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Spain started the second half with plenty of intent and Joselu was inches wide from an Alex Grimaldo cross.

Livescore.com

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