Spain's national soccer team scored a 2-0 win here over an indecisive Ecuadorian squad that was unable to live up the home crowd's expectations, with goals by Alvaro Negredo and Santiago Cazorla providing the margin of victory.
Spain used precise passing and good spacing to control play during Wednesday night's friendly at Monumental Stadium against an enthusiastic Ecuadorian side, which rarely was able to challenge La Roja's goal, initially manned by Real Madrid's Iker Casillas and later by FC Barcelona's Victor Valdes.
The reigning World Cup and European champions, who maintained their characteristic "tiki-taka" style despite numerous substitutions, nearly opened the scoring in the second minute with a a blast from David Silva but the ball clanked off the left goal post.
Ecuador managed to keep Spain scoreless past the midway point of the first half but Negredo knocked the ball into the back of the net with his heel in the 24th minute after receiving a perfect pass from Cazorla, whose powerful strike seconds earlier had been denied by Ecuadorian net minder Maximo Banguera.
Cazorla then effectively wrapped up the victory in the 62nd minute, receiving a nifty pass from 22-year-old national team newcomer Cristian Tello before dribbling inside the penalty area and firing a shot past Banguera.
In an emotional moment, the game was halted in the 11th minute to pay tribute to Christian "Chucho" Benitez, an Ecuadorian national team forward who died last month at age 27 of heart failure in Doha, a day after playing his first match for his new club, Qatari-league club El Jaish.
Spain's next qualifying match ahead of the 2014 World Cup will be against Finland on Sept. 6 in Helsinki, while Ecuador will travel to Colombia for a World Cup qualifier that same day. EFE