June 16, 2016

NICE, France (AP) Spain is trying not to be overly confident going into its match against a struggling Turkey side at the European Championship.

Although Turkey lost its first game and is coming into Friday's match saying a draw will be good enough, Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque is not expecting an easy match at the Stade de Nice.

Del Bosque said his players should brace for an even more difficult match than the opener against the Czech Republic, when Spain needed a late goal to start its title defense with a victory.

''Turkey is a great team,'' Del Bosque said Thursday. ''We have to be careful not to think it will be the same as in the last match. They are good and have the need to get points.''

Spain can guarantee a spot in the knockout stage with a win or even a draw on Friday, depending on the result of the earlier Group D game between Croatia and Czech Republic.

''Nobody knows which opponent will be easier in the next round, but we will try to finish first in our group,'' said Del Bosque, who used to coach Turkish club Besiktas.

Spain outplayed the Czechs from the start and the team's performance was highly praised despite its struggles to find the net.

''We are not overly euphoric,'' Del Bosque said. ''Each match is different, we have to take this praise with caution. We have to be prepared for anything.''

Spain hasn't lost to Turkey in more than 60 years, since World Cup qualifying in 1954.

The Spaniards are unbeaten at European Championships in 13 games, with 10 wins and three draws. They haven't lost since a 1-0 defeat by Portugal in 2004. Spain also hasn't conceded a goal in the European tournament since its opener in 2012, a 1-1 draw against Italy.

La Roja won the last two European tournaments but is trying to redeem itself from a disappointing early elimination at the World Cup in Brazil, when it arrived as the favorite but couldn't make it out of the group stage.


Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/tales-azzoni

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