Pedro Rodriguez's goal in the 63rd minute gave Spain a 1-0 victory over Italy here Wednesday in an international friendly.

The start of play was preceded by a tribute to the coach credited with turning La Roja into an international powerhouse, Luis Aragones, who died Feb. 1.

The match was played at Vicente Calderon stadium, where Aragones spent much of his career as player and later coach of Atletico Madrid.

Aragones directed the Spanish national side that won the 2008 European Championship, while successor Vicente del Bosque was at the helm for Spain's triumphs in the 2010 World Cup and 2012 Eurocup.

With the 2014 World Cup just three months away, Del Bosque used the friendly with Italy as an opportunity to experiment with the lineup.

The most notable addition to the Spanish squad was Brazilian-born Atletico Madrid standout Diego Costa, who has decided he would rather play for his adopted country than the land of his birth.

Though he didn't score, the Atleti striker adapted well to Del Bosque's scheme and strategy. EFE