Juan Mata told UEFA.com his Spain side could change games "in the blink of an eye" as he celebrated playing a starring role in Tuesday's 3-1 Group I win in Lithuania.
The Valencia CF winger came off the bench after 67 minutes in Kaunas with the score at 1-1 and quickly ensured that Spain maintained their 100% record in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying. Within three minutes Mata had provided the cross which Tadas Kijanskas turned into his own net to restore the world and European champions' lead. Then, with seven minutes remaining, he darted through to notch their third from David Silva's pass.
These days we have a very talented squad full of players capable of bringing a new dimension to our game," the 22-year-old told UEFA.com. "They can turn results in our favour in the blink of an eye." Vicente del Bosque's team, who sit six points clear in the section, will look to strengthen that formidable position when they host rock-bottom Liechtenstein in their next outing on 6 September.
Beaten 3-1 home and away by Spain in successive qualifiers, fourth-placed Lithuania will hope to get back in contention for second spot as they face Liechtenstein in back-to-back games on 3 June and 2 September. They can take some confidence from their showing against the Spanish – and full-back Marius Stankevičius, a Valencia team-mate of Mata, is unlikely to forget his stunning second-half equaliser, on the volley from 25 metres.
Nor was defender Deividas Šemberas – whose deflection had helped Xavi Hernández turn in Spain's 19th-minute opener – too dispirited. "We just failed to turn good spells of pressure into goals, and that's what Spain do so well," the 32-year-old explained, before adding: "Spain have a new generation of players that can't be stopped."
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.