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Soccer-Illarramendi rocket gives Spain narrow win in Israel
October 9, 2017 / 8:55 PM / 11 days ago

Soccer-Illarramendi rocket gives Spain narrow win in Israel

Oct 9 (Reuters) - Real Sociedad midfielder Asier Illarramendi scored a thumping first international goal to give Spain a 1-0 win away to Israel in Group G on Monday, which rounded off their World Cup qualifying campaign with a ninth victory in 10 games.

Illarramendi appeared on the edge of the area after a Spain corner had been cleared and drove the ball high into the net with the outside of his boot, breaking the deadlock in the 76th minute.

Spain had already sealed their place in Russia as group winners and their only motivation was to keep up their slim chances of being seeded in December’s World Cup draw, with the former world champions 11th in last month’s world rankings.

Israel had long been out of contention for a playoff place.

Coach Julen Lopetegui made nine changes from the team that eased to a 3-0 win over Albania on Friday, with only Sergio Busquets, who made his 100th appearance for Spain, and captain Sergio Ramos keeping their places from the previous game. (Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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