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Pedri double as Spain ease to 5-1 win over Northern Ireland

Pedri double as Spain ease to 5-1 win over Northern Ireland

Sunday, June 09, 2024, 15:17 GMT+7
Pedri double as Spain ease to 5-1 win over Northern Ireland
Spain’s midfielder Pedri celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the international friendly football match between Spain and North Ireland at Son Moix stadium in Palma de Mallorca. Photo: AFP

Spain strolled to a 5-1 win over Northern Ireland in Palma de Mallorca on Saturday as midfielder Pedri scored twice in their final warm-up match before the European Championship starting in Germany next week.

The visitors took a shock lead two minutes into the game when defender Daniel Ballard headed home a long free kick from Caolan Boyd-Munce.

Spain dominated the match, however, and levelled through a Pedri strike from distance in the 12th minute, his first international goal, before Alvaro Morata, Fabian Ruiz and Pedri again put the hosts 4-1 up at the break.

Mikel Oyarzabal sealed the win for the three-times European champions in the 60th minute, bundling in Lamine Yamal's pass.

"Above all, I'm very happy for the match, for the team's reaction. (But also) very happy to make my scoring debut, I was looking forward to scoring here," said Pedri.

"I've worked hard during the season, I've had several mishaps but I've worked hard to get to the end of it.

"With the goal it has been seen that the injury is behind me. Physically, I feel very well, looking forward to the Euros and happy to be here."

The 21-year-old Barcelona player struggled with injury problems last season.

Manager Luis de la Fuente made nine changes from Wednesday's 5-0 victory over Andorra, with Pedri and striker Morata the only players retained in the starting line-up.

Morata, who nodded home to give Spain the lead in the 18th minute with his 35th international goal, drew level with David Silva as Spain's fourth highest scorer.

Spain scored four goals in the first half for the first time since 2023, when they also netted four against Georgia in the Euro 2024 qualifiers.

The hosts were more relaxed after the break but still threatened Bailey Peacock-Farrell's goal as Joselu, Dani Carvajal, Aymeric Laporte and Mikel Merino got game time ahead of the tournament.

Spain start their Euro 2024 campaign next Saturday against Croatia before facing Italy and Albania in Group B.

Reuters

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