World Cup qualifying: Belarus 0 Spain 4
By Football News
A hat-trick by Pedro helped Spain extend their unbeaten run in World Cup qualification to 47 matches with a 4-0 win over Belarus.
In a comfortable clash for Vicente Del Bosque's side at the Dinamo Stadium, Jordi Alba gave his side the lead in the 12th minute before Pedro opened his account nine minutes later.
And the Barcelona man kept finding the back of the net as he produced two goals within three minutes during the second half to round off a quality night for the reigning world and European champions.
Right from the outset Spain were in control as they wasted two good chances in the first four minutes through Cesc Fabregas and David Silva.
But it did not take the visitors long to take the lead, as Alba finished off a wonderful move involving Xavi and Pedro.
The full-back passed inside to Xavi, who then rifled a low ball into Pedro. The attacker had his back to goal but somehow flicked an unorthodox pass through to the overlapping Alba who had continued his run.
Xavi looked to be offside but there was no flag coming from the linesman, allowing Xavi to dribble past Belarus goalkeeper Sergei Veremko and then slot the ball into an empty net.
In the 21st minute Pedro increased Spain's lead, dinking a neat shot past Veremko in the area after being set up by an inch-perfect through-ball from Silva.
As Silva pulled the strings in midfield, Spain kept attacking Belarus but failed to hit the back of the net again until the 69th minute.
In a classy counter, Xavi took four defenders out of the contest with a quality through-ball that Pedro raced on to before dispatching another looping effort over Veremko and into the far corner of the net.
Three minutes later Spain posted a fourth, Pedro completing his hat-trick with a close-range finish after some calamitous defending from Belarus allowed Fabregas to steal possession and set up the attack.
Belarus had a chance to reduce the deficit in the 76th minute through Stanislav Dragun, but he fired wastefully over Iker Casillas' crossbar after being put clean through by Sergei Kislyak.
Spain substitute David Villa nearly added a fifth for his side late on, but the Barcelona forward could only watch on as his powerful effort from 15 yards came crashing back off the crossbar.
The victory means it is two wins from two matches for Spain in Group I, with France their next opponent on Tuesday.
Belarus, meanwhile, have lost all three of their matches so far and face Georgia also on Tuesday.