Nations League: Spain finally have a win

By on 27th September 2022

Beating Portugal isn’t something Spain has been able to do recently. The Iberian neighbors have drawn their last four matches, and Spain has not won at Portugal in nearly two decades.

Following a dismal home loss to Switzerland, coach Luis Enrique attempted to remain hopeful about Spain’s chances of advancing in the Nations League.

After all, La Roja may still make the Final Four if they win in Portugal on Tuesday.

“It’s a final and we will go there to try to win it,” Luis Enrique said after the 2-1 loss to Switzerland at the weekend, which dropped Spain from first to second in Group A2 ahead of the decisive match in Braga.

However, as mentioned before, Spain has not won in Portugal in nearly two decades, and the Iberian neighbours have drawn their last four games.

Its most recent victory over Portugal came in a penalty shootout in the semifinals of the 2012 European Championship, and before that it triumphed in the round of 16 of the 2010 World Cup in a game in which Portugal claimed offside on David Villa’s winning goal in the second half.

Spain has not won in Portugal since a 3-0 friendly triumph in 2003, when Fernando Torres made his national team debut for Spain and not long after Cristiano Ronaldo began playing for Portugal.

Since Fernando Santos took over as coach of Portugal following the 2014 World Cup, the teams have drawn four consecutive games.

Spain needs the win after Switzerland broke its 22-game unbeaten streak at home on Saturday. Portugal defeated the Czech Republic 4-0 to claim first place and a chance to advance with a draw on Tuesday.

“Our goal would be the same even if Spain hadn’t lost, we will try to win the match in Braga,” said Portugal defender Diogo Dalot, who scored twice against the Czech Republic. “It’s going to be a complicated match but we will do out best to make it to the next round.”

Only the group winners progress to the Final Four, which will take place in June of next year.

Portugal now leads Spain by two points. Switzerland leads the Czech Republic by two points before of their meeting in Switzerland to escape relegation.

Spain is attempting to make its second consecutive Final Four participation after placing second to France last year.

It likewise required a last-day victory to proceed to the Final Four at the time, and it achieved so by surprising Germany 6-0 at home.

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