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Football – Spain and Portugal share the spoils of the League of Nations

By June 2, 2022June 4th, 2022Sports games

Portugal striker Ricardo Horta equalized late to hand his side a 1-1 draw against Spain in their Nations League opener at the Estadio Benito Villamarin on Thursday.

Alvaro Morata had given Spain the lead but Horta’s goal saw the arch-rivals draw for the fourth consecutive time. Portugal haven’t won a competitive match against Spain since 2004 and have never beaten them on Spanish soil. “It’s good because Spain are strong and we were playing away. It’s a good result for Portugal,” said midfielder Bernardo Silva.

“We already knew them very well, but it’s difficult to play against them.” Spain got off to a good start in the Group 2 game of League A when midfielder Gavi had a chance from outside the box in the third minute but his effort was blocked.

Portuguese defender Pepe did well to stop midfielder Carlos Soler who was on goal after receiving an accurate low pass. Morata put Spain ahead from close range after a fine passing move involving midfielders Gavi and Pablo Sarabia in the 25th minute.

“We didn’t finish, but we played a good game,” Morata said. “We’ll see each other again. Football is like that, you have to look ahead.” The 29-year-old, who hopes to play his first World Cup this year, is now three goals behind Raul’s national team record of 61 across all age categories.

“He’s not a player with stratospheric numbers, but everything Morata gives us in attack and defense,” Spain coach Luis Enrique said. “It was a match similar to the previous ones. We could have won, but we could also have lost.”

Portugal had chances to equalize through striker Rafael Leao and striker Andre Silva before half-time, but both narrowly missed the target. Fernando Santos’ side were once again close to equalizing just before the hour mark after Leao received a pass from Silva and defender Diego Llorente failed to block his shot, but the goalkeeper Unai Simon stretched to refuse it.

Morata, meanwhile, had another good chance which went just wide of the left post in the 64th minute before being substituted. Substitute Horta equalized for Portugal eight minutes from time, leaving the Spanish defense behind as he latched on to defender Joao Cancelo’s precise cross inside the box and slotted a shot into the middle of the box. Simon’s goal.

Fans of both teams enjoyed a spirited game that crashed the Spanish national team’s website when tickets went on sale last week. The last positive result of the match was Spain’s victory on penalties in the 2012 European Championship and their last two friendlies ended scoreless.

The two teams will play three more Nations League games over the next 10 days. Spain travel to Switzerland between games against the Czech Republic while Portugal host the Czechs and face Switzerland twice. Spain and Portugal will meet on September 27, in their last group match.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)