Goals from David Silva and Diego Costa gave Spain a vital 2-1 win over Macedonia to keep them in control at the top of Group G.
Spain made hard work of the match in the second half after a dominate first half where they really should have been out of sight.
Tonight may be seen as missed opportunity for the visitors for more goals,with them 2-0 so early on but the three points is the most important thing.
La Roja made just one change to the side that beat Israel 4-1 in their last qualifier, with Isco coming in for Vitolo.
The first chance fell the visitors way as Isco’s low cross flashed across the box but nobody could get on the end of it.
Spain took the lead when Iniesta scooped the ball into the path of the onrushing Alba, who found David Silva in the box and he turned and put the ball past Dimitrievski to give Spain an early lead.
Isco then tried his luck from 25 yards but his shot was held well by the Macedonian keeper.
Spain doubled their lead through Chelsea Wantaway striker Diego Costa as Isco made a brilliant run down the right hand side and his cross was tapped in at the back-post by Costa for his 5th goal in the qualifiers.
With Spain and Italy only separated by goal difference at the top of the group, Spain wanted to extend that advantage over their Italian rivals.
Although, a rare counter attack by the hosts resulted in their best chance of the match as Ristovski’s effort went just wide but had an inactive De Gea worried.
Isco was close to finding a third as Costa found Alba, who found Isco in the box, but the Real Madrid man’s shot was just wide.
Isco had another chance as Macedonia were found depleted at the back and he was found in the box by Real Madrid teammate Dani Carvajal but he took too long over his chance as his was easily saved.
Macedonia made an half-time change as their took off the defensively minded Stjepanovic and brought on 17 year-end playmaker Elif Elmas for his international debut.
Spain started the second half in lackluster fashion as they took their time to get going fully.
Pique should have made it three on the hour mark as Carvajal’s cross found him in the box with a free header but the Barcelona man put his chance over the bar.
Macedonia got one back as Ristevski’s solo fun resulted in the winger unleashing a powerful strike past De Gea for his first international goal.
David Silva was replaced by Chelsea’s Pedro for the final 20 odd minutes of the with Thiago also being replaced by Koke.
Macedonia second half showing was night and day compared to their one in the first half. They were closing Spain down quicker, putting in more tackles and launching dangerous counter attacks when winning the ball.
The Macedonian players were appealing for a penalty kick in stoppage time as Nestorovski felt he was fouled by Sergio Ramos in the box but the referee pointed for a goal kick.
Saul Niguez replaced Iniesta in the dying minutes as Spain saw the win out.
Italy made ground on La Roja’s goal difference advantage at the top of the group but the next international break sees Spain face Liechtenstein after they play the Italians in a potential group decider at the Stantiago Bernabeu.
Macedonia (4-4-2): Dimitrievski; Tosevski (Trajkovski 74), Sikov, Mojsov, Ristevski; Ristovski, Stjepanovic (Elmas 45), Spirovski, Alioski; Nestorovski, Pandev.
Spain (4-2-3-1): De Gea, Carvajal, Ramos, Pique, Alba, Busquets, (Pedro 69), Iniesta (Saul Niguez 90), Thiago (Koke 73), Isco, Costa
Referee: Pawel Gil (Poland)