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Spain morale delights Del Bosque

Spain concluded their United States tour with a 2-0 victory over the Republic of Ireland and now travel to Brazil for Sunday's FIFA Confederations Cup opener against Uruguay.

Juan Mata celebrates his goal with team-mate Sergio Ramos
Juan Mata celebrates his goal with team-mate Sergio Ramos ©Getty Images

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque said his side were heading to Brazil for the FIFA Confederations Cup "in confident mood" after La Roja enjoyed a 2-0 friendly win against the Republic of Ireland in New York.

Spain defeated Ireland 4-0 en route to UEFA EURO 2012 success in Poland and Ukraine last summer, and second-half goals from substitutes Roberto Soldado and Juan Mata at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night ensured the world and European champions stretched their unbeaten run against the Irish to five games. 

"We have achieved our objectives," Del Bosque said of Spain's trip to the United States, which also featured a 2-1 victory against Haiti in Florida. "There were no injuries while a good atmosphere within the group has been created. We've also advanced physically. We are better now than when we arrived."

Believing that the Spanish "had possession of the ball and dominated" against Giovanni Trapattoni's men, the former Real Madrid CF tactician added: "If there was one thing missing it was that final pass. We played well overall, however, and I don't think it would have been unjust had the victory come by one more goal." Ireland had an 81st-minute Sean St Ledger effort ruled out for offside.

Spain now travel to Brazil where they begin their Confederations Cup campaign against Uruguay in Recife on Sunday before further Group B matches against Tahiti and Nigeria. "We are going into the tournament in eager and confident mood but we know there are seven other teams who have the same chance of winning the title as we do," the coach concluded.  

Currently top of FIFA World Cup qualifying Group I, Spain resume their challenge away to Finland on 6 September, the same day Ireland – who are also in the running for a place at next summer's finals – host Sweden.