Spain 1-1 Portugal: European giants settle for stalemate in opening Nations League clash

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    Spain were not able to beat Portugal on home soil despite their dominant performance.

    Portugal and Spain drew 1-1 in their UEFA Nations League clash on Thursday. A late equalizer from Ricardo Horta was enough for the visitors to escape the defeat at Benito Villamarin.

    A thrilling draw!

    As expected, Spain started the game by taking charge of possession while Portugal sat back to hurt their opponents on the counter-attacks.

    Following 25 minutes of relentless attacks, Portugal’s backline finally cracked under pressure from the Spanish forwards. Alvaro Morata made it 1-0 for La Roja after a brilliant piece of buildup play by Gavi and Pablo Sarabia.

    Portugal created a few serious chances to get back into the game but were not able to convert them. However, they looked much better as soon as the second half started.

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    Cristiano Ronaldo replaced Otavio just after the hour-mark as Portugal went all-in with their attacks. They left enough space behind their backline to let Spain conduct several counter-attacks.

    However, having survived Spain’s attempts to double their lead, Portugal finally clinched the equalizer in the 82nd minute. Following a one-two with Gonçalo Guedes, Joao Cancelo whipped a precise cutback to Ricardo Horta, who nodded home from 12 yards.

    Spain pushed hard to restore their lead, with Jordi Alba missing a huge chance in the 86th minute. However, Portugal held on to their equalizer and escaped with a draw.

    Player Ratings

    Spain: Simon (6), Alba (5), Torres (6), Llorente (6), Azpilicueta (6), Busquets (7), Soler (6), Gavi (8), Torres (6), Morata (7), Sarabia (7).

    Bench: Koke (7), Llorente (6), De Tomas (6), Olmo (6).

    Portugal: Costa (6), Cancelo (7), Danilo (6), Pepe (6), Guerero (7), Fernandes (6), Moutinho (5), B. Silva (6), Otavio (7), A. Silva (7), Leão (6).

    Bench: Nunes (6), Neves (6), Ronaldo (6), Horta (7), Guedes (7).