Silva, Costa keep Spain in lead of WCup qualifying group

Macedonia had not tested David de Gea until Stefan Ristovski launched a rare counterattack that he ended by smashing the ball inside the near corner in the 66th.

Costa insisted Spain knew they were in for a hard match against Macedonia on Sunday, with David Silva also on target as the visitors moved into a two-goal lead before Stefan Ristovski's second-half strike for the hosts threatened a comeback.

Spain coach Julen Lopetegui insisted he was satisfied after the 2-1 win in Macedonia.

Spain's David Silva, right, kicks the ball past Macedonia's Kristijan Tosevski during their World Cup Group G qualifying soccer match at the Philip II National Stadium in Skopje, Macedonia, on Sunday, June 11, 2017.

Costa revealed this week he has been told via text message from manager Antonio Conte that he does not have a future at Stamford Bridge, an SMS he then forwarded to the club's hierarchy. Macedonia lost all chances and simply abandoned during play their matches but I think it is for this match they will try to please their fans a decent game, and even with such a rival.

Italy routed Liechtenstein 5-0 to ensure it will arrive at its potentially decisive qualifier against Spain level on 16 points.

Spanish news outlet Mundo Deportivo claim that the Spain worldwide is not put off by the La Liga club's transfer ban, which makes any deal unlikely until next year. The Fyr Macedonia won only against to the bottom most team Liechtenstein.

However, substitute Aleksandar Prijovic set up Aleksandar Mitrovic to fire past Wayne Hennessey and equalise in the 73rd minute as Serbia stayed top of qualifying Group D.

Wales are still unbeaten in the group but this was a fifth straight draw and they are third, four points behind both Serbia and the Republic of Ireland, and level on points with Austria in fourth.

Ireland came from behind to draw 1-1 with Austria earlier with Stoke City striker Jon Walters volleying in the equaliser with five minutes left in Dublin.

The attacking midfielder was denied by Dimitrievski twice more and also fired another effort inches wide as the visitors went into half-time with a two-goal advantage.

Croatia slipped up at the top of Group I after a 1-0 defeat in Iceland.

Ukraine and Turkey both won away and are two points behind the leaders.

  • Julie Sanders