Spain have booked their place at next summer's World Cup with an easy 2-0 win over Georgia. They needed just a point at the start of the evening to confirm their spot, though the reigning champions confidently picked up all three to force Group I runners-up France into a playoff spot.
The hosts were, as per usual, dominant right from the outset, and would've been ahead inside the opening five minutes if Georgian defender Akaki Khubutia hadn't got down to make an impressive goalline clearance on Jesús Navas' shot toward the far post. Álvaro Negredo put a free header over the bar a few minutes later, before Pedro's shot was smothered at the second attempt by Georgia keeper Giorgi Loria.
Despite ducking and weaving their way through the Georgian defence with ease, Spain couldn't find the breakthrough, though it was always a case of "when," rather than "if." Negredo's audacious but excellent overhead kick required a tip over by Loria after 20 minutes, but the keeper was powerless to prevent the Manchester City striker tapping in Andrés Iniesta's low cross from the left six minutes later.
Georgia gave Spain a fright with their first chance of the game just short of the half-hour, though Aleksandre Kobakhidze skied the rebound off Iker Casillas' save on Nikoloz Gelashvili's shot. That was pretty much the visitors' only real chance of the match, and they were lucky not to be two down at halftime when Negredo hit the woodwork 40 minutes in, sliding a cross from the right against the post before the follow-up was cleared off the line.
Spain added a second on the hour, with substitute Juan Mata scoring just seconds after entering the field. He took advantage of some pinball in the box to drill the ball into the bottom corner first time, with La Furia Roja cruising toward a World Cup berth. They continued to pepper Georgia's goal with shots, though were made to settle for just a 2-0 win by the defensively determined visitors.
Spain starting lineup (4-3-3): Iker Casillas; Alberto Moreno, Sergio Ramos, Gerard Piqué, Juanfran; Andrés Iniesta (Isco 81'), Sergio Busquets, Xavi (Koke 66'); Pedro (Juan Mata 58'), Álvaro Negredo, Jesús Navas.
Goals: Negredo 26', Mata 61'.
Georgia starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Giorgi Loria; Giorgi Khidesheli, Guram Kashia, Akaki Khubutia, Ucha Lobzhanidze; Irakli Dzaria, Dato Kvirkvelia; Elguja Grigalashvili (Levan Khmaladze 75'), Aleksandre Kobakhidze, Shota Grigalashvili (Avtandil Ebralidze 70'); Nikoloz Gelashvili (Irakli Modebadze 87').