Oct 11, 2013 at 9pm UK
Spain
2-1
Belarus
Hernandez (61'), Negredo (78')
Pique (33')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Kornilenko (89')
Martynovich (12'), Bordachev (54'), Kalachev (66'), Dragun (91'), Verkhovtsov (93')

Xavi Hernandez relieved after narrow Spain win

Xavi relieved after narrow Spain win
© Getty Images
Spain veteran Xavi Hernandez shares his relief after La Roja earned a 2-1 win over Belarus to move within a point of World Cup qualification.

Spain midfielder Xavi Hernandez has conceded that his side struggled against Belarus for long spells in last night's World Cup qualifier, but praised an important, hard-fought victory.

Goals from Xavi and Alvaro Negredo proved enough for Vicente del Bosque's side to earn a 2-1 win over Belarus, despite a late consolation from Sergei Kornilenko.

La Roja struggled to break down their opponents for long spells, with Xavi admitting that this side were well below bar despite putting qualification firmly within their grasp.

He told Telecinco: "We weren't effective enough with the final pass but in the end we got the win and it's a very important step towards the World Cup.

"Alvaro's goal gave us some breathing room and at the end the Belarus goal gave us a bit of a shock but it turned out fine.

"It's tough when teams shut up shop at the back with all 10 players in their half."

Del Bosque's men now need just one point from their final qualifier against Georgia to earn a trip to Brazil next summer, which would see La Roja arrive as defending champions.

Spain's coach Vicente del Bosque during the Confederations Cup against Italy on June 27, 2013
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