• Spain's news in English

On form Negredo guides Spain to World Cup

AFP · 16 Oct 2013, 09:13

Published: 16 Oct 2013 09:13 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Needing just a point to advance, Alvaro Negredo settled any nerves with his fourth goal in five internationals this season midway through the first-half.

And substitute Juan Mata sealed the three points with virtually his first touch of the ball 15 minutes after the interval.

Victory means Spain finish Group I three points clear of France and continue their remarkable record of not having lost a World Cup qualifier for over 20 years.

"In the course of the competition we have had difficulties that we had to solve by winning in Paris and then the games afterwards," Spain boss Vicente del Bosque admitted.

"We need to value what we have done in this group. It hasn't always been easy because the opponents have defended deep and made it difficult for us.

"But we have a virtue which is to keep the ball and have patience."

Del Bosque had shown his discontent with Friday's unconvincing 2-1 win over Belarus by making six changes to his starting line-up.

The return of captain Iker Casillas in goal and an international debut for Alberto Moreno at left-back were the most significant changes, but all those who came in made a positive impact in a much more vibrant display.

Negredo had a great chance to open the scoring when Giorgi Loria spilled Pedro Rodriguez's cross, but the keeper recovered well to make a brave block at the Manchester City striker's feet.

However, the waves of Spanish attacks continued and the opener arrived on 25 minutes as Moreno, Pedro and Iniesta combined before the latter squared for Negredo to prod home his ninth international goal at the near post.

Georgia then had their first opening of the match as Nikoloz Gelashvili accelerated past Sergio Ramos, but his fiercely hit effort was parried by Casillas and Aleksandr Kobakhidze's follow-up effort sailed over.

Negredo should have had his second of the evening before the break when he struck the outside of the post when it seemed easier to score after being set up by excellent wing play from Jesus Navas.

Story continues below…

Any doubt over the final outcome was erased on the hour mark when Mata volleyed home a loose ball inside the area just minutes after replacing Pedro.

And the Chelsea man is hoping a return to form at club level will ensure his place in Del Bosque's 23-man squad for Brazil.

"We have done what we wanted to do in these two games. We've qualified and can now look forward to the World Cup in a relaxed manner," he said.

"Obviously it is a goal for me to be there. I need to have another good season to keep my place in the national team. It would be great to go to my second World Cup and hopefully it will have the same outcome as the first."

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Tough road ahead, Spain PM warns before return to power
Rajoy will try and form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned on Wednesday of a tough road ahead as he prepares to take power again at the head of a minority government with little support.

Russia withdraws request to refuel warships in Ceuta
The aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was due to dock in Ceuta

Russia has withdrawn a request for its aircraft carrier group to be refuelled at the Spanish port of Ceuta, authorities confirmed.

Bulls replace guard dogs at scrap yard in Valencia
Two bulls will be patrolling the scrap yard in eastern Spain. Archive photo: AFP

Guard dogs were not proving enough of a deterrent to thieves at a car breakers yard in eastern Spain so the owner has brought in a pair of fighting bulls.

Two-headed shark born in Spanish laboratory
Scientists are studying the rare find. Photo: IBIMA / University of Malaga

Scientists at the University of Malaga found the embryo of a shark with two heads and just one body.

Spain under pressure to stop refuel of Russian warships
Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is due to arrive in Ceuta. Photo: Mil Ru / Wikimedia

Spain is facing international pressure to refuse permission for a Russian warship flotilla to refuel in Ceuta en route to continuing airstrikes against the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Most wanted: Fugitive rapist arrested in Tenerife
Mohammed Jahangir Alam was arrested n Tenerife. Photo: Crimestoppers.

Mohammed Jahangir Alam, one of Britain's most wanted fugitives, who fled the country in 2008 after allegedly raping a woman, was found working in Tenerife.

Spain's Rajoy says king has tasked him with forming govt
Photo: AFP

Spain's king on Tuesday tasked Mariano Rajoy with forming a government, taking the acting conservative prime minister a step closer to power again after a 10-month political deadlock.

Two imams arrested in Ibiza resort over 'Isis support'
The men were arrested in the resort of Sant Antoni de Portmany. Photo: Jose A / Flickr

Two Moroccan imams at a mosque on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of backing the Islamic State group and inciting jihad.

Balearic Islands choose to keep summertime forever
The islands will have longer evenings during winter. Photo: AFP

The Balearic Islands want to keep summertime when the rest of Spain turns the clocks back on Sunday.

  Brazilian had 'uncontrollable desire to kill': Spain police
Francois Patrick Nogueira Gouveia has been charged with murdering his uncle, his wife and their two children. Photo: Guardia Civil.

A Brazilian teenager accused of dismembering his uncle and aunt and killing their two young sons in a grisly crime that shocked Spain had an "uncontrollable desire to kill", police said on Monday.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available