Portugal draws the tie against Spain

Portugal draws the tie against Spain


Portugal drew 1-1 with Spain, the finalists of the last edition, on Thursday in Seville for the first day of the League of Nations 2022-2023, in a match where Cristiano Ronaldo, entered at the time of game, was very discreet.

This rather close Iberian duel did not find a winner: in the 25th minute, after a counterattack led by the young Barcelona Gavi, Carlos Soler served Alvaro Morata on the edge of the offside in the surface for the 26th goal of the game. Juventus striker under the Roja jersey … but Braga striker Ricardo Horta retaliated in the 82nd minute, alone on the surface, when Joao Cancelo’s cross was recovered.

Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, preserved in the first period and entered the 62nd in place of Otavio, spent half an hour protesting and was very discreet in the Seleçao game.

Without its flashes, however, the Portuguese managed to hang a precious draw at the Benito-Villamarin Stadium, which was only filled at three-quarters on Thursday night (41,236 spectators out of 60,000).

Spain, finalists in the last edition against France in October (2-1), got off to a better start, with a first big shot from Gavi in ​​the 3rd minute, deflected by veteran Pepe.

The young attacking midfielder of FC Barcelona, ​​only 17 years old, was very active in the midfield: he is at the base of the transition that led to the first goal of the match, signed by Alvaro Morata.

– Alba’s missed opportunity –

But Portugal, numb at first, woke up in the middle of the game: in the 18th minute, Rafael Leao, a great and young striker of AC Milan (22 years, 1.88 m) courted by Real Madrid , tried his luck from the edge of the box, but Raphael Guerreiro couldn’t finish.

Portugal largely dominated the second period, but did not find the fault until the very end of the match, on an action similar to that of the goal of Spain.

“It’s a sense of pride, I’m here for merit, but I wanted to prove that I could help the team, and everything went well for me today (Thursday, ed.),” He said. of final whistle Horta, entered the 72nd in place of Rapahel Leao and surprise scorer ten minutes later.

And after the Portuguese equalizer, Jordi Alba had the ball 2-1 at the end of the head, but his recovery, facing the empty cage, did not hang the frame.

For both teams, this match set the tone for the rest of the League of Nations and launched both teams on the road to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar (November 21 – December 19).

“We have to move forward. There is no weak team in this group. All the matches will be difficult, there are teams that have a very good tactical organization, that defend very well, against whom it will be complicated to win, “Alvaro Morata told TV1 after the game.

At the end of that first day, it was the Czech Republic, who won 2-1 in Switzerland on Thursday night, who took the reins of the very high Group B.

On Sunday, Spain (20:45) will travel to Prague to face the Czechs in the second round, while Portugal will host Switzerland at the José-Alvalade Stadium in Lisbon.

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