Spain proved their class again last night courtesy of a 2-0 win over the Republic of Ireland, which marked their last friendly appearance before the Confederations Cup.

La Roja and Ireland met at the Yankee Stadium in New York, where the first team arrived after an average match versus Haiti, and the latter was in perfect shape, with captain Robbie Keane in the middle of a scoring streak.

Nevertheless, the Spaniards soon dominated the game completely, reaching 90% possession of the ball during the first half.

The game became a milestone, since eight of the Spanish players that started the match were FC Barcelona players: Victor Valdés, Gerard Piqué, Jordi Alba, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Sergio Busquets, Pedro and David Villa -seven of them raised in La Masía.

This event marked the third time in the history of the team that the main eleven is formed by eight players from the same club.

Vicente del Bosque's men displayed their characteristic "tiki-taka", with the World Cup winners achieving 438 passes in the first half, compared to their opponent's 49.

These statistics are a reflection of the difficulties the Ireland team struggled with throughout the 90 minutes.

The match also became the perfect way for Iker Casillas to demand his place in the main team, after months of sitting on the bench due to an injury and  his strained relationship with former coach Jose Mourinho.

The Real Madrid goalkeeper replaced Valdés in the second half, and during the 30 minutes he got to play, he showed why he is the world's best goalkeeper - making two great interceptions that prevented the Irish from scoring.

After this match, it has become clear again that the captain of La Roja is entitled to be the key piece of the Spanish team in the upcoming Confederations Cup.

The friendly match ended with a 2-0 victory for Spain: Roberto Soldado and Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata getting themselves on the scoresheet.


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