Defender Gerard Pique scored a late goal to give the dominant Spain a 1-0 victory over Czech Republic in their Group D match here on Monday.
The twice defending champion had a ball possession up to 68 percent, created 14 corners and fired 17 attempts, but they just failed to turn those numerous chances into goals.
With the match more and more likely ending as a goalless draw, second half substitution Pedro Rodriguez and Andres Iniesta combined on the right before the Barcelona midfielder sent a cross towards the back post.
His teammate at Nou Camp jumped the highest and earliest to head the cross past Petr Cech, who should have made history by earning his country a point nearly single-handedly.
Andres Iniesta proved dominant in the midfield, launching attacks wave after wave but Cech, together with their central defender Roman Hubmik, always reacted quicker to keep their goal intact.
Although contained for most of the time in their own half, the Czechs finally found their best chance in the 65th minute. A short corner and delivery gave Theodor Gebre Selassie the chance to head from a tight angle and Cesc Fabregas saved his side with a last-ditch clearance off the line.
David Silva was found in the box by another Iniesta cross in the 78th minute. The Manchester City forward cut inside and almost found the far corner with a left-footed effort.