Spain hammer South Korea in Euro warm-up


PARIS: Holders Spain stepped up their preparations for the European Championships by smashing South Korea 6-1 in a friendly in Austria with Alvaro Morata and Nolito each hitting a brace on Wednesday.

The Spaniards were slightly under-strength as coach Vicente Del Bosque rested players from Real Madrid and their city rivals Atletico following their exertions in the Champions League final on Saturday.

But it hardly mattered as a dominant Spain scored three times before the break through David Silva’s sublime free-kick, Cesc Fabregas and Nolito.

Morata netted a second-half double and Nolito grabbed his second as Spain recorded a morale-boosting thrashing of the Koreans, whose consolation seven minutes from time came from Ju Se-Jong.

Nolito had struck his first two international goals in a 3-1 friendly win over Bosnia and Herzegovina in Saint Gallen, Switzerland, on Sunday.

Wednesday’s friendly in Salzburg saw former Real stopper Iker Casillas preferred to Manchester United’s David De Gea in goal.

Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin, who made the squad of 23 following Real defender Dani Carvajal’s injury in the Champions League final, made an appearance in a side that again included a strong Barcelona presence in the form of Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets.

Having played in Real’s extra-time win on penalties over Atletico, Real’s Sergio Ramos and Lucas Vazquez, and Atletico’s Juanfran and Koke will be the last to join up with the Spanish squad on June 4.

They will be just in time for a final pre-tournament warm-up against Georgia on June 7 in Getafe, Spain.

The squad then begins its Euro campaign against the Czech Republic on June 13 before also facing Turkey and Croatia in Group D.

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