Spain match winner Gerard Pique has hailed Barcelona team-mate Andres Iniesta for the perfect pass that ensured his goal in Spain’s 1-0 win against Czech Republic on Monday.
Iniesta picked out Pique in the Czechs’ penalty area on 87 minutes with an inswinging cross, which the defender headed past Petr Cech as Spain began their European Championship defence with a victory and the centre-half couldn’t help but heap praises on his team-mate.
“I think we played very well, we controlled the game very well, but the ball wouldn’t go in. I was lucky to score, but the whole team were phenomenal.
“We didn’t despair, we tried to attack with order and make the pitch as big as possible, and we created many chances until we reached their goal.
“We wanted to win and knew it was very important to start by picking up all three points. [On Iniesta’s assist], what a pass, what quality Iniesta has. [On seeing his son in the stands], I saluted him. He was there in the stands, wearing his Spain shirt.” Pique is quoted as saying on Football Espana.
Spain’s dominance in the first half accounted for nothing as Petr Cech posted a solid performance to deny the defending champions severally at half time but the La Rojas returned after the break with an increased tempo and just when Czech thought they were coasting home with a point, Petr Cech had no response for Pique’s header in the closing stages.