Spain and Portugal played out a 1-1 draw in their opening game of the UEFA Nations League group stage on June 2nd. The match took place at the Benito Villamarin Stadium in Sevilla, Spain.
It was the first competitive international game for either team since their qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup back in November last year.
In terms of head-to-head, these sides last met in a tournament at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. They played out a nail-biting 3-3 draw on that occasion, giving a glimmer of hope to the neutrals for more of the same tonight.
Portugal striker Ricardo Horta grabbed a late equaliser to earn his side a 1-1 draw with Spain in their Nations League opener at Estadio Benito Villamarin on Thursday. Alvaro Morata had given Spain the lead, but Horta’s goal ensured the great rivals drew for the fourth time in a row. Portugal have not won a competitive game against Spain since 2004 and have never beaten them on Spanish soil.
“It tastes good because Spain is strong and we were playing away. It was a good result for Portugal,” midfielder Bernardo Silva said. “We already knew them very well, but it’s tough to play against them.”
Morata put Spain ahead from close range following a fine passing movement involving midfielders Gavi and Pablo Sarabia in the 25th minute. “We didn’t finish it off, but we played a good game,” Morata said. “We’ll see each other again. Football is like that, we have to look ahead.”
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal had opportunities to equalise through forward Rafael Leao and striker Andre Silva before halftime, but both narrowly missed the target. Fernando Santos’ side were once more close to levelling just before the hour mark after Leao received a pass from Silva and defender Diego Llorente failed to block his strike, but goalkeeper Unai Simon stretched to deny him.
Substitute Horta equalised for Portugal eight minutes from time, leaving the Spanish defence behind as he latched on to a precise cross from defender Joao Cancelo inside the area and placed a shot into the middle of Simon’s goal.
High praises for Gavi
Spain fans were highly impressed by midfielder Gavi’s performance in their 1-1 draw against Portugal.
The 17-year-old put up yet another brilliant performance, as he often has in his short career for the national side. He completed one dribble, gave two accurate long balls, made two key passes, and had a passing accuracy of 94%.
Gavi was also key in Spain’s goal in the match as he progressed with the ball before playing it brilliantly to Pablo Sarabia. He passed the ball to Morata, who scored in the 25th minute to give them the lead against Portugal.