INTERNATIONALS: MATA SECURES SPAIN VICTORY IN THE STATES

Juan Mata was on target as Spain won their final warm-up match before the Confederations Cup which begins this weekend.

The Chelsea man added the second goal in a 2-0 win over Republic of Ireland in the Yankee Stadium in New York, where he played for Chelsea last month.

Fernando Torres and Cesar Azpilicueta, who started Spain's previous warm-up game, remained on the bench on this occasion, Mata came on for Xavi on 69 minutes, moments after Roberto Soldado put his side ahead.

Spain hit woodwork in the first half but Ireland were tough to break down in the face of much possession for their opponents, and they had the ball in the net through Sean St Ledger on 81 minutes, only to be denied by an offside flag.

Mata made the win certain with two minutes left on the clock with a first-time finish from a Santi Cazorla pass, having twice been involved earlier in the move. It was a quality goal.

Spain open their Confederations Cup campaign on Sunday in Brazil against Uruguay, before taking on Tahiti and Nigeria.