Spain defeated the Republic of Ireland 2-0 in an international friendly at Yankee Stadium New York this morning.

Spain controlled the majority of possession early on but a largely second string Ireland defended well and grew into the game as it progressed.

Pedro went close for Spain on 31 minutes, hitting wide from close to the penalty spot, while David Forde did well to deny David Villa on 40 minutes.

Shortly after Pedro hit the woodwork after showing excellent feet in the box to create space enough for a shot, but his effort came back off the underside of the bar.

Conor Sammon had Ireland’s best chance in the first half, when after winning possession he shot wide from a tight angle, while James McCarthy was impressing in midfield but the sides went into half-time scoreless.

Spain continued to press after the break, but struggled to create many clear-cut opportunities, while Ireland’s defence remained solid.

The pressure eventually told on 69 minutes though when Soldado swivelled and shot into the bottom left hand corner after the ball broke to him in the box.

There was further disappointment for Ireland after 80 minutes when a Sean St Ledger goal was disallowed for offside, while James McClean had a good effort saved by Iker Casillas following a typically strong run.

But Spain wrapped up victory when second half substitute Juan Mata of Chelsea scored on 88 minutes.

Spain: Valdes, Pique, Sergio Ramos, Arbeloa, Jordi Alba, Iniesta, Xavi, Busquets, Silva, Pedro, Villa.
Subs: Casillas, Albiol, Javi Martinez, Azpilicueta, Torres, Fabregas, Mata, Soldado, Monreal, Cazorla, Jesus Navas, Reina.

Rep of Ireland: Forde, St. Ledger, Coleman, Kelly, O'Dea, McShane, McCarthy, Hendrick, Sammon, Keane, Andy Keogh.
Subs: Randolph, Delaney, McClean, Richard Keogh, Quinn, Cox, Meyler,