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Spain, Portugal draw Nations League opener Nations League
Image Credit: UNI

Spain, Portugal draw Nations League opener

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 03 Jun 2022, 11:48 am

Madrid/UNI/Xinhua: Spain and Portugal drew their opening UEFA Nations League match 1-1 in Seville after a match in which both sides controlled one of the halves, with Spain on top for the first 45 minutes and Portugal in charge in the second.

Spain coach Luis Enrique picked the experienced Cesar Azpilicueta at right-back, while the Barca quarter of Jordi Alba, Ferran Torres, Gavi and Sergio Busquets were all in the starting 11.

Neither side wanted to take risks in the opening minutes of the game and both teams looked tired until the 25th minute when Joao Cancelo was caught out trying a backheel, allowing Gavi to break for Spain.

The youngster passed to Pablo Sarabia who hit a first-time pass for Alvaro Morata to slip the ball home at the far post. Morata looked fractionally offside, but the VAR check said the goal was good.

Moments later Gavi, who is still just 17, set up Carlos Soler, who was denied by Diego Costa, before hitting the rebound over the bar.

Gavi continued to run things for Spain in the second half and Bruno Fernandes was slightly lucky to not see a second yellow card for stopping him on the ball.

Spain keeper Unai Simon made an excellent stop to deny Leao, who looked set to score 10 minutes after the break, just before Cristiano Ronaldo and Goncalo Guedes came on for the visitors.

Portugal were pressing Spain much harder as the half progressed and they got their reward with 8 minutes left to play when Guedes found space down the right for the totally unmarked Ricardo Horta to sweep home from 12 yards to earn a draw.