FIFA World Cup Qualifying: Spain 2 Belarus 1

Spain moved a step closer to qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup with an unconvincing 2-1 win over Belarus in Mallorca on Friday.

The world and European champions were made to work for the Group I victory, which came thanks to second-half strikes from Xavi and Alvaro Negredo; a result that leaves them on the verge of booking their place at next year's World Cup in Brazil.

Spain struggled to break down their opponents in the first half but took the lead in the 61st minute thanks to a superb Xavi strike.

Negredo, introduced as a second-half substitute for debutant Michu, then doubled Spain's lead with a terrific header, meaning Sergey Kornilenko's late effort was merely a consolation.

Vicente del Bosque's side now need just one point against Georgia in Albacete on Tuesday to confirm their place at the World Cup.

In the absence of the injured Fernando Torres and David Villa, Spain manager Del Bosque selected Swansea City's Michu from the start, while goalkeeper Iker Casillas and midfielder Andres Iniesta were named among the substitutes.

Belarus, who were without former Barcelona and Arsenal midfielder Alexander Hleb due to suspension, opted for a 3-5-2 formation as they sought to end their qualifying campaign on a good note.

Spain's top scorer in qualifying, Pedro, ran at the Belarus defence and caused problems early, while Michu failed to make the most of a David Silva ball before the latter nodded wide