By Andy Hall
Two second-half goals from Jonathan Soriano helped Spain to a victory against Bosnia-Herzegovina in Castellón that takes them to the top of UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 7.
Spain fell behind early today but recovered to move above Belgium and Serbia and Montenegro into first place. However, they only lead the Belgians on goal difference and have now played one game more than both their serious rivals for the two play-off berths.
Bosnia-Herzegovina pressed from the start and took the lead on nine minutes in spectacular fashion. Spotting Asier Riesgo off his line, Senijad Ibricic let fly with a magnificent chip that surprised the goalkeeper and nestled inside the post.
But Spain were back on level terms within eight minutes. Héctor Font's threaded pass split open the Bosnia defence to leave Jaime Gavilán free to slot past custodian Zdenko Baotic and register his first goal for Spain at this level.
Soriano on song
Iñaki Sáez's side went in front right at the start of the second half through RCD Espanyol prodigy Soriano, whose header rebounded off the crossbar and bounced just over the line. The visitors' rearguard was breached again in the 78th minute when Soriano was released to slot in his seventh goal of the competition, the leading tally.
Ibrahim Zukamovic's team showed that they were far from out for the count when Avdija Vrsajevic flicked in a glancing header to make it 3-2 shortly afterwards. But Font relieved any nerves for Spain in added time, tucking the ball inside the post.
Spain will be cheering Bosnia-Herzegovina on when they welcome Belgium on 2 September, while Sáez's team next meet Serbia and Montenegro four days later in a crucial encounter.