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Played
June 12, 2013 5:30 AM IST
Yankee Stadium — New York City
Referee:‬ J. Marrufo‎
Attendance:‬ 39368‎
 
 
88′ Juan Mata
 
Top of the Match
Roberto Soldado
Roberto Soldado
Spain
Juan Mata
Juan Mata
Spain
Flop of the Match
Robbie Keane
Robbie Keane
Ireland Republic
Víctor Valdés
Víctor Valdés
Spain

Spain 2-0 Rep of Ireland: Soldado and Mata secure victory in New York friendly

The world and European champions overcame a turgid start and a spirited Irish outfit to seal a 2-0 win at Yankees Stadium ahead of this Sunday's Confederations Cup opener

By Mohammed Ali

Pedro y Hendrick, durante el España - Rep.Irlanda
Getty Images
Spain wrapped up their preparations for the Confederations Cup with a 2-0 win over the Republic of Ireland in an international friendly at the Yankee Stadium in New York City.

Goals from substitutes Roberto Soldado and Juan Mata ensured Vicente del Bosque's side the victory, but they needed to overcome a determined Irish outfit to seal the win after a sluggish start to proceedings on the East Coast.

With the reigning world and European champions opening their Confederations Cup campaign in four days' time, the onus was on La Roja to perform admirably against the Irish ahead of the tournament, and the opening exchanges proved to be a distinctly slow affair.

Andres Iniesta fired a shot narrowly over the bar after a brilliant attacking phase in the early stages, but even though Del Bosque's side were typically dominating the possession count, they lacked the potency to trouble David Forde in the Ireland goal.

Nevertheless, the Boys in Green displayed plenty of fight to frustrate their more esteemed opponents - a far cry from last summer's capitulation at Euro 2012, and could've even taken the lead. Gerard Pique's indecision on the ball was punished by Sammon, who fired agonisingly wide when put one on one against Victor Valdes, in the half's best chance.

Spain, however, recovered from their poor opening, as Ireland began to open up. Pique's header had earlier been cleared off the line by Paul McShane, before a neat pass from Pedro in towards David Villa was intercepted at the last moment by the Hull City defender.

Giovanni Trapattoni's men were beginning to ride their luck, and were fortunate to not fall behind. Xavi teed up Pedro, who expertly turned away from his marker before firing a thundering shot off the underside of the crossbar, before David Silva struck hopelessly over the bar from the rebound as Ireland breathed a sigh of relief.

The second half proved to be an equally dogged affair, as Ireland continued to frustrate their opponents. The flurry of substitutions just before the hour allowed the world champions to add a new dimension to their attack, and it almost paid dividends as Jesus Navas tested Forde, before Pique's shot was thwarted by the goalkeeper.

Ireland's resistance was to be broken, as they finally folded. Darren O'Dea's poor clearance was picked up by Alvaro Arbeloa in an advanced position, before substitute Soldado struck cleanly past the impressive Forde to hand La Roja the lead. It could've been two seconds later, had Jordi Alba not struck narrowly wide.

The visitors had a goal chalked off for offside, in controversial circumstances. From a corner, which was helped on into the path of Simon Cox, in an offside position, before the ball was poked home by Sean St Ledger, sending the sizeable Irish contingent inside the stadium into raptures which soon was dashed by the referee's interjection.

Spain rallied from that scare, and finished strongly. Santi Cazorla saw a dipping effort from distance tipped over by substitute Darren Randolph, with Sergio Ramos heading narrowly over the bar from the resulting corner. Juan Mata wrapped up the game with a finely worked second goal, with a delightful chip over the goalkeeper on the back of a fine assist from Santi Cazorla.

Spain take on Uruguay in their Confederations Cup Group B opener on Sunday at the Arena Pernambucano in Recife, as attention turns towards the tournament in Brazil.


Spain

1
Víctor Valdés
Goalkeeper
59′
2.50
17
Arbeloa
Defender
68′
2.50
18
Jordi Alba
Defender
2.50
3
Piqué
Defender
2.50
4
Sergio Ramos
Defender
3.00
16
Busquets
Midfielder
3.00
21
David Silva
Midfielder
46′
2.50
8
2.50
6
Xavi
Midfielder
69′
3.00
9
David Villa
Striker
59′
2.00
7
Pedro
Striker
11′ 80′
3.00

Ireland Republic

3.00
1
David Forde
Goalkeeper
74′
2.00
48
2.50
15
2.00
2
2.50
12
2.00
-
Jeff Hendrick
Midfielder
46′
2.50
16
James McCarthy
Midfielder
84′
2.50
23
Seamus Coleman
Midfielder
2.00
17
Andy Keogh
Midfielder
74′
2.00
18
2.00
7

Substitutes

25
Pepe Reina
Goalkeeper
 - 
1
Iker Casillas
Goalkeeper
59′
2.50
33
 - 
28
 - 
17
Monreal
Defender
 - 
19
Santi Cazorla
Midfielder
80′ 88′
3.00
4
Cesc Fàbregas
Midfielder
59′
2.50
8
Javi Martínez
Midfielder
 - 
15
3.00
9
 - 
8
Juan Mata
Striker
69′ 88′
3.00
9
3.50

Substitutes

2.00
16
 - 
27
 - 
2
 - 
7
David Meyler
Midfielder
84′
3.00
-
James McClean
Midfielder
74′
2.00
29
Stephen Quinn
Midfielder
46′ 82′
2.00
-
Simon Cox
Striker
57′ 72′

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
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  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
A. Pulido A. Pulido
Striker
Tigres
4 0
Chris Wondolowski Chris Wondolowski
Striker
San Jose Earthquakes
3 0
Neymar Neymar
Striker
Barcelona
3 0
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
2 0
Ivica Olic Ivica Olic
Striker
Wolfsburg
2 0