Gerard Pique booed by Spain fans during win over Albania

Gerard Pique booed by Spain fans during win over Albania

Gerard Pique booed by Spain fans during win over Albania

Pique was booed by fans during training sessions this week because of his support for an independent Catalonia and was withdrawn after an hour following a shaky performance at the heart of the Spanish defence and receiving a mixed reception from the home crowd.

Spain, with one more match left to play (against Israel), are the 11th team to secure their spot in the World Cup and the 5th from UEFA.

It is not the first time that the outspoken Barcelona man has been barracked by his own nation's fans, as he has held an uneasy relationship with many in Spain due to his views on Catalan nationalism.

Renewal A period of transition ensued in the wake of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and Lopetegui has now overseen its completion.

Giorgio Chiellini scored for the Azurri but Alexandar Trajkovski equalised for Macedonia, Goran Pandev providing the assist.

In the group's other game, Liechtenstein lost 1-0 to visiting Israel.


Serbia missed a chance to clinch their World Cup place when they suffered a shock 3-2 defeat to already-eliminated Austria, their first loss of the campaign.

Wales have a one-point advantage in second place in Group D ahead of their crunch clash against Republic of Ireland, who kept pace with a 2-0 win over minnows Moldova.

In Group I, Berg Gudmundsson and Birkir Bjarnason gave Iceland a two-goal cushion heading into half-time in Istanbul and things got even better for Heimir Hallgrimsson's team four minutes into the second half when Kari Arnason extended the lead.

Croatia's hopes were dented after they conceded a 90th-minute equaliser in a 1-1 home draw with Finland. A late chance for Isco came to nothing, but La Roja didn't care much when they learned Italy had failed to beat Macedonia―punching Spain's ticket to Russian Federation in the process.

An own goal from Leart Paqarada on the hour set Ukraine on their way before Andriy Yarmolenko sealed their win.

"It's special because of the work carried out by this national team for the past year and a half, and through sacrifice and hard work, we've qualified earlier than planned".

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