MADRID (AP) — Spain easily defeated Albania 3-0 to secure a World Cup berth on Friday and outspoken defender Gerard Pique received a mixed reaction from home fans every time he touched the ball.
Rodrigo, Isco, and Thiago Alcantara scored first-half goals to give Spain an insurmountable five-point lead over Italy with one round to go in Group G of European qualifying.
Italy’s chances of winning the group ended with in a 1-1 draw against Macedonia in Turin, a result that secured second place for the Italians.
Israel won at Liechtenstein 1-0 in the other group match.
Spain will be making its 11th consecutive World Cup appearance.