Spain edges Czech Republic in Euro qualifying

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 7:04 PM ET

GRANADA, Spain -- David Villa scored twice in a four-minute span, breaking Raul's all-time record in the process, to help Spain rally for a 2-1 win over the Czech Republic in Euro 2012 qualifying Friday.

Jaroslav Plasil scored in the first half for the Czech Republic, but Villa was able to equalize in the 69th and add the match-winner from the penalty spot in the 73rd. Villa's first goal was his 45th for Spain, a new record.

Spain, which won Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup, won for the fourth time in as many qualifiers and leads Group I, opening a six-point cushion over second- place Czech Republic.

Rafael Van der Vaart, Ibrahim Afellay, Dirk Kuyt and Robin Van Persie scored as 2010 World Cup runner-up Netherlands remained perfect in Group E with a 4-0 win that left Hungary six points back in second.

Thiago Motta scored as 2006 World Cup winner Italy beat Slovenia, 1-0, to open a six-point lead atop Group C. Serbia defeated Northern Ireland, 2-1, in Group C's other match to move level on points with Slovenia for second.

Philippe Mexes and Yoann Gourcuff scored as France defeated Luxembourg for its fourth win in five Group D games, 2-0. France leads the group by four points.

Axel Witsel scored twice and Belgium beat Austria, 2-0, in Group A in the only other match Friday, leaving the teams even on points in second behind Germany.


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