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The former Real Madrid coach had nothing but praise for his side's stiff opponents on Tuesday night, and feels there is no longer a gulf in class in international football

Vicente del Bosque has admitted that Georgia made life difficult for Spain in the wake of his side's hard-fought 1-0 win in Tbilisi on Tuesday.

"I want to congratulate Georgia for their extraordinary performance. They put us in a lot of difficulty with their enthusiasm and their ability to defend all our attacks through both the center and the wings," Del Bosque was quoted as saying on the official FIFA website.

The home side appeared to be on their way to a shock draw until Roberto Soldado's late goal helped the reigning champions to all three points in their first World Cup 2014 qualifier.

"It was not an easy match and they made it difficult for us, but we won three important points," said Del Bosque.

"We knew they would be organized, defend well and that they have options up front with strength that we had to be careful of. It wasn't through courtesy that I spoke about them being a strong rival beforehand. 

"The differences in football are getting smaller every day. We have to play a qualification campaign and we can't think about anything other than just qualifying."

Spain's next qualifier is a clash away to Belarus on October 12.