Alvaro Morata Inspires Spain To A Score Draw Against Portugal.

Portugal denied Spain a winning start in the Nations League when Alvaro Morata's first-half goal was cancelled out by a late equalizer from Ricardo Horta on Thursday night June 2.

Luis Enrique side started the game impressively looking for an early goal, but they had to wait until the 25th minute before Morata scored at the end of a brilliant counter-attack, assisted by Sarabia. 

It was a Portugal attack that gave Spain the lead as Joao Cancelo's attempted flick left the ball loose and Gavi sprinted to intercept it.

Carlos Soler should have made it two before half-time after a beautiful pass down the line sent Gavi free, and his pullback found Soler, whose initial shot was stopped by Diogo Costa, but his second went over the bar.

Manchester United Cristiano Ronaldo came on for Portugal in the second half of with the aim of getting an equaliser which proved difficult for the Euro 2016 champions. 

The best chance for Portugal came early in the second half, when Andre Silva did brilliantly to set up Rafael Leao on the left side of the penalty area, but Spanish goalkeeper Unai Simon denied him with his legs.

READ MORE: Gerard Pique, Reportedly Caught Cheating On Shakira And Are On The Verge Of Splitting Up.

It was another replacement, Ricardo Horta, who equalized through a brilliant assist from Cancelo with eight minutes remaining.

Cancelo made up for his earlier error in the 82nd mins by exchanging a slick one-two with Goncalo Guedes down the right before hitting a cross into Horta, who was all alone and made no mistake.

Alba could have won it for Spain late on, but his header went wide, forcing both teams to settle for a point.

Spain haven't won against Portugal in six games, drawing each of the last five.

Portugal's only win came in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

With games against Switzerland and the Czech Republic to remain, neither of the two Group A2 favorites can claim an early edge. On Sunday, Spain will face the Czech Republic in Prague, while Portugal will host Switzerland at home.

Both of these teams will be regarded contenders for the World Cup in Qatar later this year, but it was Spain's youthful side that looked the more complete in an unexpectedly combative and intense match at the Benito Villamarin, following another long and exhausting season.

With 26 goals in 53 appearances, Morata is Spain's joint-seventh top scorer, while Sergio Busquets made his 135th appearance for the national team, moving him ahead of Xavi Hernandez and behind only Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos on the all-time list.

READ MORE: Argentina Defeat Dismal Italy To Win The 2022 Finalissima Title At Wembley Stadium.

But it was Gavi's 17-year-old run and pass that set up Morata's goal, and the Barcelona midfielder was perhaps the best player in the game, putting up another impressive display that will no doubt satisfy Luis Enrique.

Last year, Spain reached the final of the Nations League, defeating European champions Italy in the semis before losing to France, and they had a relatively easy World Cup qualifying campaign, finishing first in Group B with 19 points out of a possible 24.

Portugal, on the other hand, had to qualify through the play-offs, defeating Turkey and North Macedonia to escape a humiliating exit, and there are still worries about Fernando Santos' ability to find the ideal formula to fit his plethora of attacking possibilities.

No comments

Powered by Blogger.