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2 vs 1
Played
October 11, 2013 9:00 PM BST
Iberostar Estadi — Palma de Mallorca
Referee:‬ B. Nijhuis‎
Attendance:‬ 22900‎
 
61′ Xavi
78′ Negredo
 
Top of the Match
David Silva
David Silva
Spain
Xavi
Xavi
Spain
Flop of the Match
Piqué
Piqué
Spain
Piqué
Piqué
Spain

Spain 2-1 Belarus: Xavi & Negredo allow Roja one foot in Brazil

Vicente del Bosque's reigning champions conceded late but the visitors were unable to grab another, leaving the hosts to sit comfortably top in Group I

Spain Belarus 2014 World Cup Qualifier 10112013
Getty
Spain planted one foot in Brazil thanks to second-half strikes from Xavi and Alvaro Negredo to win 2-1 at home to Belarus on Friday.

The world and European champions were made to work for the Group I victory, which came thanks to second-half strikes from Xavi and Alvaro Negredo; a result that leaves them on the verge of booking their place at next year's World Cup in Brazil.

Spain struggled to break down their opponents in the first half but took the lead in the 61st minute thanks to a superb Xavi strike.

Negredo, introduced as a second-half substitute for debutant Michu, then doubled Spain's lead with a terrific header, meaning Sergey Kornilenko's late effort was merely a consolation.

Vicente del Bosque's side now need just one point against Georgia in Albacete on Tuesday to confirm their place at the World Cup.

In the absence of the injured Fernando Torres and David Villa, Spain coach Del Bosque selected Swansea City's Michu from the start, while goalkeeper Iker Casillas and midfielder Andres Iniesta were named among the substitutes.

Belarus, who were without former Barcelona and Arsenal midfielder Alexander Hleb due to suspension, opted for a 3-5-2 formation as they sought to end their qualifying campaign on a good note.

Spain's top scorer in qualifying, Pedro, ran at the Belarus defence and caused problems early, while Michu failed to make the most of a David Silva ball before the latter nodded wide.

As expected, Spain controlled possession, but they struggled to create clear chances as Belarus were happy to sit back and soak up pressure.

The closest the hosts came in the first half was a curling Silva effort, but Belarus goalkeeper Aleksandr Gutor was equal to the task, while Michu headed a Nacho Monreal cross wide.

Belarus had claims for a spot kick on the verge of half-time, with Stanislav Dragun's cross appearing to strike the hand of Gerard Pique - who had already been booked - but no penalty was given as both sides entered the break goalless.

A frustrated Del Bosque replaced Monreal with Iniesta at the break, before Michu's uninspiring debut came to a close in the 57th minute.

Spain took the lead just moments later, with Pique's effort in keeping an aimless ball alive at the byline crucial.

The Barcelona defender's hooked ball back in was not cleared properly, as Yegor Filipenko's header fell perfectly to Xavi,
and the midfielder hit a bullet strike that left Gutor with no chance as Spain finally took the lead.

Negredo then added to Spain's lead with 12 minutes to play as he netted a superb diving header. Pedro's flick freed Sergio Ramos down the right, and his inch-perfect cross was powerfully nodded home by the Manchester City forward.

A late Belarus attack saw Sergei Kislyak force Victor Valdes into a rare save, while Kornilenko bagged a late left-footed strike to cap a swift counter, but Spain did just enough to post an important victory.


Spain

1
Víctor Valdés
Goalkeeper
3.00
17
Monreal
Defender
46′
3.00
3
Piqué
Defender
33′ 61′
2.50
4
Sergio Ramos
Defender
78′
4.00
17
Arbeloa
Defender
3.50
6
Xavi
Midfielder
61′
4.00
4
Cesc Fàbregas
Midfielder
84′
3.50
16
Busquets
Midfielder
3.00
9
Michu
Midfielder
57′
3.00
21
David Silva
Midfielder
4.00
7
Pedro
Striker
3.50

Belarus

3.00
-
2.50
-
2.50
-
2.50
-
3.00
-
2.50
-
Anton Putsila
Midfielder
77′
2.50
-
Yan Tigorev
Midfielder
2.50
-
3.00
6
3.00
-
 - 
-
3.00
-

Substitutes

25
Pepe Reina
Goalkeeper
 - 
1
Iker Casillas
Goalkeeper
 - 
20
Juanfran
Midfielder
 - 
-
Alberto
Defender
 - 
6
 - 
8
3.50
23
Isco
Midfielder
 - 
15
 - 
6
Koke
Midfielder
84′
 - 
4
Mario Suárez
Midfielder
 - 
8
Juan Mata
Striker
 - 
9
Negredo
Striker
57′ 78′
4.00

Substitutes

 - 
-
Sergey Chernik
Goalkeeper
3.00
-
Sergei Veremko
Goalkeeper
 - 
-
Vitali Trubila
Midfielder
 - 
16
 - 
-
 - 
-
Pavel Sitko
Midfielder
 - 
-
 - 
-
Renan Bressan
Midfielder
 - 
-
Sergei Kislyak
Midfielder
80′
3.50
10
Krivets
Midfielder
55′ 89′
3.50
-

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • 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
Group A Matchday 10
Times In BST
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Robin van Persie Robin van Persie
Striker
Man Utd.
11 2
Edin Dzeko Edin Dzeko
Striker
Manchester City
10 0
Mesut Özil Mesut Özil
Midfielder
Arsenal
8 3
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Striker
PSG
8 1
C. Ronaldo C. Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
8 0