Hello and welcome to Sportstar’s HIGHLIGHTS of Portugal vs Spain UEFA Nations League Group match from Braga, Portugal.
Ronaldo with a chance to make amends straight away. But his shot was from too narrow an angle and Simon had it covered. Five minutes added on and as things stand Spain will be the team to make it to the semifinals from this group. Portugal is desperate to play it forward. Mendes chucks a long cross in and Simon jumps on it and gathers it. Precious seconds gained for Spain. And the referee blows the whistle and it is confirmed. Spain wins and leapfrogs Portugal into the last four of the competitions
Spain pushing more bodies forward and that opens up counter attacking avenues for Portugal. And out of nowhere comes ALVARO MORATA!!! Spain goes direct and finds Williams, who header flies across the face of the goal for Morata to stab it in. SPAIN LEADSSS!!
Williams is the next to have a crack from far. But this too is straight at Costa, who gathers it with ease. Portugal will be happy with how things are flowing.
Rodri cuts off Ronaldo’s cross from a counter attack which might have ended up at the feet of Raphael Leao. Brilliant interception from the Manchester City man. Gavi draws a foul from Neves.
Spain finally makes Diogo Costa work. Morata created space for himself and let fly from distance, but Costa had his hands behind it.
The game has speeded with all the substitutions. Spain wins a corner down the right after Pino was found by Pedri in a pool of space. But Portugal defends the corner.
Dani Carvajal with a vital block. A freekick was followed by a cutback by Carvalho, who found Dias. The defender’s shot was hacked away by Carvajal almost from the line. Spain responds with a shot on target from Morata. But it was straight at Costa. Ronaldo with a chance to shoot from inside the box, but Jose Gaya comes flying in to get the ball from his back. CHANCE MISSED.
Spain is pressing higher and it is forcing errors out of Portugal. But Portugal survives that nervy bit of play where the Costa gave the ball away inside the box. Spain has turned it up.
A clear shift in momentum as the young bloods press and hurry the Portuguese players. Spain wins a corner and Morata was the highest, but he couldn’t bring the header down enough. Mendes regains the ball from Pino and then singlehandedly drives his team upfield with some splendid skills. He has been impressive tonight.
Despite the circumstances, it is Portugal, not Spain, who has displayed better attacking intent. Luis Enrique might be compelled to shake things up if he wants to change the game. The changes do come in the form of young talents Pedri, Pino and Gavi.
Jota wins a freekick and also gets Carvajal a yellow card for holding him back. Nuno Mendes’s cross was way too close to Simon and a chance to use the aerial prowess of Ronaldo and Dias goes wasted.
Portugal has restarted the game on the front foot. There is a brief pause as Neves is treated for an injury. Carlos Soler wins a freekick for Spain and still they refuses to put an long ball into the box.
And the game restarts. Busquets comes in for Spain and Rodri replaces Guillamon in the defense. Bernardo Silva is punished for an arm across the face of Jose Gaya. Jota drives through Spanish heart. He releases Ronaldo, whose shot is blocked away by an onrushing Simon. Rapid start to second half.
Torres wins a freekick close to the centre circle. Spain opts to recycle possession instead of pinging it in. Just one minute added on and it ends with Spain holding on to the possession. As things stand, it will be Portugal who will head to the Nations League semifinals.
Portugal loses possession. Ferran Torres tries to be inventive with a deep cross. But his attempted shot is above the cross bar.
Bruno Fernades, and everyone who watched that shot, thought that went in. The midfielder cannons one with his left foot and it hits the outside of the net, but it looked to have nestled in the top corner.
Ferran Torres and Koke try to link up down the right. But Portuguese defense held firm. Portugal gets a spell of possession.
Spain persists with its patient approach. Portugal breaches the spell of possession and breaks. Fernandes wins the ball and finds Jota in the box. The Liverpool player’s shot is parried away by Simon. BEST CHANCE OF THE MATCH.
Neves spots Bruno Fernandes making a run into the box and tries to find him with a long ball. Simon saw the pass coming and came out to collect it. FIRST YELLOW CARD. Hugo Guillamon is booked for a foul on Ronaldo.
Spain’s meticulousness on possession hasn’t translated to chances created, so far. Carvajal tries to resolve it through the right wing and wins a corner thanks to Morata. Portugal counters from the set piece and wins a corner itself.
Finally, a flashpoint as a cross from the right wing results in a goal-mouth melee in Spain’s box. But the referee brings it back to a push by Jota and gives Spain a freekick. Portugal wins a corner soon and there comes the first shot on target of the game. It is from Ruben Neves whose long ranger is palmed away by Simon.
It is Portugal’s turn to hold on to the ball. Spain is a little more rabid with its pressing and gets the ball back faster. Both Mendes and Carvajal goes down on clutching their heads. A brief pause and both of them are back.
The crowd is expressing its discontent at how unimaginative Spain is being with the ball. The jeers turn to cheers whenever Portugal briefly retains the possession. Rodri is the heart of the Spain side with his flawless passing and his press-resistance.
Spain builds up a sustained spell of possession. Portugal engages a mid-block, restricting its rivals away from the dangerous territory.
Portugal pushes on through the left. Mendes is the primary outlet and he is given the space to drill in two sharp crosses. But Spain defenders clears both.
Ronaldo with the first shot of the game. He took the ball with his back to the goal and shoots on turn. Misses the target, but the move was called offside.
Enrique’s Spain is in their change kit, while Portugal is in its traditional red and green. The first real move comes from Morata down the right, but his cross is wayward. At the other end, Ronaldo tries to create something, but is caught off side.
Both sides are ready and the crowd roars in excitement. Cristiano Ronaldo begins the proceedings with the kick off.
Coach Luis Enrique tried to stay optimistic about Spain’s chances of advancing in the Nations League following a disappointing home loss to Switzerland.
After all, La Roja can still secure a spot in the finals with a win in Portugal on Tuesday.
“We see it as a final,” Luis Enrique said Monday, two days after the 2-1 loss to Switzerland dropped Spain from first to second in Group A2 ahead of the decisive match in Braga. “It’s positive to arrive in the last round with a possibility to win the group.”
But beating Portugal isn’t something Spain has been able to do recently. The Iberian neighbors have drawn their last four matches including friendlies, and Spain has not won at Portugal in nearly two decades.
Its last victory against Portugal came in a penalty shootout in the semifinals of the 2012 European Championship, and before that it won in the round of 16 of the 2010 World Cup in a match where Portugal complained of an offside on David Villa’s winning goal in the second half.
In Portugal, Spain is winless since a 3-0 victory in a friendly in 2003, when Fernando Torres made his national debut with Spain, and not long after Cristiano Ronaldo began playing for Portugal.
“It’s all part of soccer. We have three recent matches in which we played well but didn’t win and they ended in draws,” Luis Enrique said.
The teams have drawn four straight since coach Fernando Santos took over Portugal after the 2014 World Cup, including a thrilling 3-3 game to open their campaigns in the group stage of the 2018 World Cup.
PORTUGAL VS SPAIN HEAD TO HEAD
“We just have to focus on winning rather than reaching the final four,” Santos said on Monday. “I want the players to face Spain on their merit, as they do all opponents. Do that and we will always be closer to getting where we want to go.”
Spain needs the victory after seeing its 22-game unbeaten run at home ended by Switzerland on Saturday. Portugal won 4-0 at the Czech Republic to take first place and earn a chance to advance with a draw on Tuesday.
Only the group winners advance to the final four next June. Portugal has 10 points, two more than Spain. Switzerland has six points, two more than the Czech Republic ahead of their match in Switzerland to try to avoid relegation.
Spain is looking for its second consecutive appearance in the final four after finishing runner-up to France last year. At that time, it also needed a last-day victory to advance to the final four, and it did it by shocking Germany 6-0 at home.
Luis Enrique said he didn’t expect many changes in the squad for the match against Portugal despite the loss on Saturday, though he admitted the team had to improve its defending of set pieces, which is how Switzerland scored both of its goals.
Portugal, the winner of the inaugural edition of the Nations League in 2019, may see the return of forward João Félix, who was not available for the match against the Czech Republic because of an injury. He rejoined his teammates in training on Sunday.
WHEN AND WHERE TO WATCH
Portugal vs Spain UEFA Nations League match will be telecast live on the Sony Sports Network in India.
Live streaming of the match in India will be available on SonyLIV and JioTV.
The match kicks off at 12:15 AM on September 28.
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