Nations League: Spain, Portugal share spoils

Spain made a lively start to the League A Group Two contest as young midfielder Gavi had a chance from outside the box in just the third minute but his effort was blocked.
Nations League: Spain, Portugal share spoils
Portugal's Ricardo Horta

SEVILLE: Ricardo Horta bagged a late equaliser as Portugal secured 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 ensured Portugal drew against its Iberian rival for a fourth time in a row. Portugal has not won a competitive match against Spain since 2004 and has never beaten it on Spanish soil.

Spain made a lively start to the League A Group Two contest as young midfielder Gavi had a chance from outside the box in just the third minute but his effort was blocked. Portugal central defender Pepe then did well to stop Carlos Soler, who was through on goal after receiving a precise low ball.

The home team broke the deadlock in the 25th minute as Morata put the ball in from close range following a fine passing move involving Gavi and Pablo Sarabia. Portugal had opportunities to level the score through Rafael Leao and Andre Silva before half-time, but both players narrowly missed the target.

The tourist came close to equalising again, just before the hour mark. After receiving a pass from Silva, Leao delivered a strike which centre-back Diego Llorente failed to block but Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon stretched to deny him.

Meanwhile, Morata, minutes before being substituted, had a good chance that went just wide of the post. Having come off the bench, Horta equalised for Portugal eight minutes from time as he latched on to a precise cross from Joao Cancelo inside the box and placed a shot into the middle of Simon’s goal.

RESULTS (SELECTED):

League A Group 2: Spain 1 (A Morata 25) drew with Portugal 1 (R Horta 82); Czech Republic 2 (J Kuchta 11, D Sow 58(OG)) bt Switzerland 1 (N Okafor 44)

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