By Izuchukwu Okosi

Spain began the defence of their Euro Championship title on a nervy note on Monday afternoon with a 1-0 win over Czech Republic who defended very well prior to conceding late in the game.

Petr Cech made an instinctive save in the 17th minute as Alvaro Morata who made himself some space following a cross from David Silva shot tamely from close range.

Andres Iniesta slid a glorious pass towards the Juventus forward nine minutes later but the ball was eventually cleared and Spain was denied another chance to go in front.

Andres Iniesta attempted to surprise Petr Cech with a cheeky lob from distance, but it lacked more accuracy and it went over the crossbar. The Arsenal keeper also saved twice afterwards.

Just before referee Szymon Marciniak blew his whistle for half time, Czech Republic’s Tomas Necid received a low pass just outside the box and unleashed a fine strike towards the middle of the goal. David de Gea pulled off a reflexive save to block his effort.

Cech dived to his near post as the ball went out for a corner with Morata leading an attack that had the Spanish fans in the crowd rising from their seats.

Roman Hubnik connected with the ball in the six-yard box after a free kick and shot towards the bottom right corner, but David de Gea made a magnificent save.

Cesc Fabregas made a dramatic goal-line clearance while Jordi Alba miscontrolled a pass from David Silva few minutes later.

Spain then scored when Andres Iniesta sent a superb cross into the box, Gerard Pique latched on to it from close range and planted a header that went inside the right post, leaving Petr Cech beaten with three minutes left on the clock.