Portugal 0 - 1 Spain summary: score, goals, highlights: UEFA Nations League
Portugal vs Spain live: latest updates
Portugal vs Spain: Match Report
- There weren't many chances between the two Iberian neighbors
- Portugal needed a win or draw to advance and appeared to play for the latter.
- Spain needed to win and most definitely stuck to their strategy.
- Though the game had few chances, it was a typical demonstration of Spanish possession and patience.
- A clever piece of play resulted in a Spanish goal. A deep cross, a headed pass across goal and a thunderous finish from their veteran foward. 1-0 to Spain and they are in the UEFA Nations League semi finals!
A Game of Few Chances
While it wasn't the glamor football you watch in amazement, the Spanish will certainly be happy with the result. Playing against an opponent that they know is more than capable of hurting them, La Furia Roja stuck to their task with the kind of patience and composure that suggested they knew their chance would come.
Meanwhile their neighbors and opponents seemed to play with a lack of urgency that suggested they had already booked their spot in the semi finals of the Nations League. Should they have been more adventurous? Should they have attempted to play their own possession game, rather than looking for vertical passes to Cristiano up top? Possibly, but if nothing else, what they shouldn't have done is seemingly play for a draw. One always got the feeling that Spanish were going to get a look at goal and when Williams' headed pass was hammered in by Morata, there was a sense of 'told ya so' in it.
Regardless, the Portuguese can at least take heart in the idea that they got a good look at what they should not do going forward. Between Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva, they will have to find a way to play both to their strengths. At present one gets the feeling that the team is not taking full advantage of the attributes that the pair are working with.
With that, it's onto the semi finals for Spain and a period of reflection for Portugal. There's not much time left now before the 2022 FIFA World Cup kicks off in Qatar on November 22nd. What will these two sides look like when that day arrives?
The goal that won it
Just when it seemed as though Portugal were going to quietly march into the semi finals with a draw, the Spanish produced a clever play to give them the goal that takes them into the final four of the UEFA Nations League.
Alvaro Morata will likely be brushing his shoulders tonight, given some of the criticism that has been leveled at him of late. The Atletico Madrid man stuck to his task all night and in the end, was rewarded for it.
The referee has brought an end to it all and Cristiano Ronaldo looks on in disgust. Spain clinch a spot in the UEFA Nations League semi finals with a 1-0 win over Portugal!
Jaoa Felix is booked for a cynical foul which will ikely be the end of the night's action.
The Portuguese are desperate now, but their cross is too deep and Spain's keeper claims.Just 30 seconds away now from a spot in the semi finals.
Spain are able to break, but are quickly dispossessed and Portugal now are pressing for a goal.
A close shave there as Carvajal headed the ball back without looking, almost giving Cristiano Ronaldo the gift he wanted.
We are going to have 5 minutes of stoppage time.
We're in the 90th minute and assuming the score stays this way, it will be Spain who are on their way to the UEFA Nations League semi finals!
As if on cue! A deep cross to the left side of the box found a lurking Nico Williams, who's headed pass back across the goal found a grateful Alvaro Morata who proceeded to blast the ball into the net. 1-0 Spain!
Spain are facing elimination at this point unless they can pull something out the hat in these final minutes.
At this point it would appear that Portugal are content with seeing out a draw which will take them into the semi finals. One has to wonder if the strategy may bite them before the end.
The Portuguese attempt to release Leao down the left side but the ball is too long for the AC Milan man.
Portugal aimlessly boot the ball into their opponents' defense. Cristiano Ronaldo is not pleased with his teammates and it shows.
Nico Williams cuts in off the right side and decides to have a go at goal from distance, but his shot is of no concern to Costa in the Portuguese goal.
Spain are pressing now but once again the Portuguese are able to maintain their shape.
With 10 minutes left in this one plus stoppage, the Spanish need to score, otherwise they will be out. The Portuguese can afford to take a draw, but you can tell the home crowd wants more.
The Spanish play their corner short before attempting a cross, but in the end the ball is headed out of play. Portugal with the goal kick.
Spain clear and break through Nico Williams. They are forced back into their own defense, but retain possession before switching to the left side. A blocked cross means a corner to the Spanish.
Vitinha's impact is immediate as he finds Ronaldo on a break, but the latter's cross is deflected for a corner. Here we go. Bruno Fernadnes to take.
Two more changes from Portugal. Leaving are Diogo Jota and William Carvalho for Rafael Leao and Vitinha respectively.
Morata has a go at goal with a swerving left footed shot that is good enough to bring a palm save out of Costa. The Spanish retain possession and are able to get the ball to the left side. Still the Portuguese fail to clear. The Spanish will have a throw from the right side.
The corner is played short and it's Gavi with the cross but Portugal clear. The Spanish regain possession and cross again, but in the end Diogo Costa claims the ball in the Portuguese goal.
The Spanish are trying to tighten the grip, but for the moment nothing is being given. They will, however, have a corner.
Both teams make a change with Ferran Torres being replaced by Nico Williams for Spain and Bernardo Silva leaving for Joao Mario.
In truth Cristiano Ronaldo should have done better. Found in front of goal, the veteran star failed to control the ball sharply enough and was dispossessed in the nick of time by Garay. Portugal's talisman appeared to lament a lack of instruction from his teammates.
A clever free kick to the back post. William Carvalho receives and plays the ball back across the goal but it is cleared for a corner by Carvajal.
Diogo Joys is fouled in the middle of the field. Portugal with the free kick into the area.
Portugal will have another throw from further up the left side.
Pedri is starting to get his touches in now and as usual his class is on show. In the end the ball is put out for a throw. Portugal to restart.
In the end the ball is played to deep and the Portuguese will have a goal kick.
We're it not for a badly weight pass from Cristiano Ronaldo, Diogo Jota would have had a chance on goal. The Spanish clear and are able to mount a counter which ends with a corner to come.
Nuno Mendes breaks out of the back and shows some classy touches in tight space before he is forced to play the ball back. After a ball is changed to the right side of the field, the Portuguese relinquish possession and the Spanish get going once again.
Spain commit a foul on Bruno Fernandes on the edge of Portugal's box. The Portuguese will start once again from the back.
Pedri's deep corner is retained by Spain and they work the ball to the left side.
Having crossed the 60 minute mark, we've now got half hour left plus stoppage time in this UEFA Nations League match. Who's booking their spot in the semi finals?
The Spanish will make three changes: Pedri, Gavi and Yeremy Pino enter for Koke, Soler and Sarabia.
Portugal play to the right and will have a throw deep in Spanish territory.
The Spanish attempt to play around the back. As always looking for a channel, they are finally dispossessed by resolute defending from the Portuguese, who break through Cristiano Ronaldo.
An open look for Carlos Soler there, but in the end a horrible effort from the PSG man, which sails into the stands.
A foul in the middle of the field will give the Spanish a moment to recuperate. Fernandes is lucky not to have been booked.
The Portuguese are pressing now and once again Silva is the protagonist. The Spanish are able to clear but only as far as the half where their opponents once again retain the ball.
Silva plays Ronaldo in, but the latter's shot is deflected by Spain's keeper. Should that have been 1-0? The Spanish break, but are quickly dispossesed
Bernardo Silva is booked for what appears to have been a hand to his marker's face.
Off we go once again and this time it's Spain who get us underway.
Let's go again!
It's almost time for the second half of this UEFA Nations League match. We've got Spain vs Portugal duking it out for a spot in the semi finals and the score locked at 0-0.
The players are in the tunnel once again and we've got a second half about to get underway. Stick around as we'll be taking you through the action play by play.
Can Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. take a place in the final four, or will it be their Iberian neighbors who re-establish themselves amongst Europe's elite?
Bruno Fernandes leading the way
The Man City winger has showed his quality tonight. Despite the fact that the Spanish have dominated possession - they usually do - what the crafty forward has done with the ball when he's had it, has been an example to follow.
What a goal it would have been if it stood...
The Man City man almost brought the house down with that shot out of nowhere. Calm down Bruno!
And that's it for the first half. The score sits at 0-0 here in this UEFA Nations League clash between Spain and Portugal. To be clear, if the score stays as it is, Portugal will be through to the semi finals. Spain on the other hand, have got to win if they hope to book a place in the final four.
There will be one minute of stoppage time.
We're approaching the final minute of this first half here in Braga. If you've just joined us, the score is 0-0 in this UEFA Nations League match. We've got Spain vs Portugal battling it out for a spot in the semi finals. Stay with us as we will be bringing you all the action from the second half as well!
The Portuguese have not been outdone in this half despite the gulf in possession, but once has to feel that they will have to do more than simply try to punt the ball to a lone Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Spanish break down the left, but in the end the Portuguese keeper claims the ball with ease after the cross is placed to close to him.
We've just crossed the 40 minute mark and the score is still tied at 0-0 between Spain and Portugal in this 2022 UEFA Nations League match. Who will book their place in the semi finals?
Spain will have a throw deep in Portugal's defensive third from the right side.
The Portuguese try for a long link ball to Cristiano Ronaldo. This appears to be one of their tactics for the moment as the have now decided upon compactness in defenese.
Though it's now been called back for offside, Bruno Fernandes just brought the house down with a disallowed effort from outside the box. The left footed shot came from out of nothing. None the less the score remains 0-0.
All 22 players are now sitting in the Spanish half as the Portuguese probe.
Finally the Portuguese win the ball and break to the right. The ball is being changed freely now from wing to wing. Still the Portuguese maintain possession as they look for an opening.
The Spanish have returned to retention and the Portuguese to concentration. La Furia are now working down the left side, but nothing is being given.
After a brilliant pass out of the back to find Bruno Fernandes in the area, the Manchester City winger obliges by using his trickery to carve out a shot on goal. The Spanish keeper is up to the task and the score remains as is.
If you've just joined us, it's UEFA Nations League and we've got Spain vs Portugal. At the moment the score remains 0-0
We've got our first card of the game after Hugo Guillamon is seen to tug on Cristiano Ronaldo
The Portuguese are definitely becoming more adventurous now.
The corner is too deep and in the end Spain will have a goal kick.
The Portuguese break effectively off of the cleared corner and if not for some last ditch defending, the Portuguese would be in. They will have a corner of their own.
Spain with the throw deep in Portugal territory and off of it they will have a corner from the right side.
The Spanish build down the right, but it has to be said they are finding it to be tough going with Portugal's left back, Nuno Mendes.
A precise goal kick finds Ronaldo on the left side and the veteran quickly plays in Jota down the line. Unfortunately, his cross is blocked and the Spanish are able to build once again.
The Spanish manage to clear the corner, but only far enough to give Portugal a throw from the left side. The Portuguese are growing in confidence.
Portugal have the corner.
Portugal are now retaining the ball with some comfort. After decent build up from Cancelo on the right, there is a deep cross which finds Diogo Jota at the back post. The Liverpool man is able to head back cross goal to Cristiano Ronaldo, but the latter can't bring the ball down for a shot. Spain live again.
What looked to be a promising ball in the channel for Morata is called back for offside.
After a period of frantic passing, Spain are able to emerge from their own defense with the ball. The play is quickly brought to halt by collision between Carvajal and Nuno Mendes. Both players clutch their heads as they go down.
Momentum is turning bit by bit. The Portuguese have now settled into a rhythm and are possessing the ball with more comfort.
Just when there seemed to be daylight for the Spanish, they are dispossessed by Nuno Mendes. The Portuguese restart with a throw to Cristiano Ronaldo, but the star is quickly dispossesed and Spain restart.
If nothing else, one must credit the Portuguese calmness. They know all too well that a draw will see them into the semi finals. Will their resolve hold, will the Spanish find a way through?
Once again the Spanish retreat to their own defense and once again the home crowd let's them know how they feel.
It's now Portugal who are employing the high press, forcing the Spanish to play with their own goal keeper as they play the ball around the back of defense. The crowd's whistling indicates the level of satisfaction with the state of affairs.
For the moment the Portuguese appear to have been well-drilled. Spain continues to possess, but their neighbors refuse to break their focus.
A cynical foul on Ferran Torres. The Portuguese showing the frustration. Spain with the freekick in midfield.
Spain have settled back into ball retention as they play the ball around their defense, trying to lure the Portuguese in.
Portugal are able to get out of the bind an find success through Cristiano Ronaldo whose dazzling flick finds Nuno Mendes, but the latter's cross is bloced.
An error in the right back position sees Portugal give up possession in a critical spot. Spain are able to create an opportunity, but the shot is saved by the the Portuguese keeper.
Spain have a throw in on the right side of Portugal's box, but are forced back.
Spain regain possession and work the ball to the left, but again Portugal's compact formation forces them to change sides.
From the resulting freekick, Portugal makes it into the Spanish area. A lose ball finds Cristiano Ronaldo and the Manchester United man swivels and shoots, but his effort sails into the stands.
Compact in shape, the Portuguese manage to weather the moment and finally dispossess the Spanish. A quick counter is halted when Cristiano Ronaldo spots a hand ball.
The Spanish seem content to play the ball around their own defense for the moment as they look for an opening.
There is a clear pep in the step of the players as they feel each other other out in these opening exchanges. The Spanish appear to be playing a high press for the moment. Will that persist?
And we're off!
We're underway here in Braga, Portugal and it's the home team who have got us started as they begin with the ball.
Welcome to 2022 UEFA Nations League on AS USA
If you're just joining us then let us give you a warm welcome to our live text coverage of the 2022 UEFA Nations League here on AS USA. We've got a massive tie tonight as Spain takes on their Iberian neighbors Portugal. What's on the line? A spot in the semi finals. Stay with us as we bring you the action play by play!
It's almost time
We're almost ready for kickoff here. The players are in the tunnel and the crowd is on its feet. At stake is a place in the 2022 UEFA Nations League semi finals. Competing for the spot are two old rivals and more importantly, neighbors. Spain will take on Portugal in an Iberian showdown.
Can Cristiano Ronaldo lead his men to a the final four, or will La Furia Roja use their total footballing style to devastating effect once again? Let's find out together!
Does Luis Enrique have a point?
Spain's head coach didn't mix words with journalists ahead of their clash with Portugal. Cheeky cheeky.
Anyone remember this?
Say what you like, but this one was ridiculous. When these two teams meet, there are always incredible moments. Will Cristiano Ronaldo retain relevance yet again? Will Spain's machine like play overwhelm their neighbors? If there's one thing you can count on, it's that it will be entertaining no matter the result.
A reminder before kickoff...
In case you didn't know, this is how things stand heading into this massive match. Essentially, you can think of this one between Portugal and Spain as a UEFA Nations League Final.
Tonight's Starting 11s
Now that Portugal's lineup is in, we can show you the starting 11 for each team tonight. Interestingly, Cristiano Ronaldo won't be playing in the central channel. Is this a sign of things to come in Qatar?
Where 'La Furia Roja' are concerned, there are no surprises, however, it should be said that given the doubts surrounding his goal scoring prowess, tonight would be a good night for Alvaro Morata to wear his shooting boots.
To be fair...
It would be negligent of us not to mention the other time that these Iberian adversaries tussled in recent memory. Indeed, it was en route to Spain's 2010 World Cup triumph. Does the stage get bigger and better than that?
This was the freekick we were talking about.
From Barca vs Madrid rivalries between the two squads, to cultural and geographical opposing similarities, there was a lot to unpack when these two met in the last FIFA World Cup. Yet, there was Cristiano Ronaldo; ever willing to change the conversation with a moment of brilliance.
If you watched the game then you remember just how exquisite the freekick was. Can we expect more of the same tonight? Who is to say. Either way it's going to be an exciting match, as it always is when these two 'noisy neighbors' meet!
Spain's lineup is in!
Is this what we can expect in Qatar? Regardless, that's a solid lineup that the Spanish have turned in. Expect a lot of noise between these two neighbors!
Step onto the pitch
If you'd like a close up view of where the stars of Portugal and Spain will be battling tonight then the latter's social media team have you covered.
The Iberian XI
The team at 90 minutes have put together their version of the best combined XI between these two sides. Do you agree with it?
Dalot finds his spot
It was a cracking finish from the Manchester United man against the Czechs. He'll likely have a tougher time tonight against the Spanish but with two goals on that night, they'll certainly want to keep an eye on him.
A former teammate of the aforementioned Ronaldo, is Marco Asensio, who forms part of the visiting attacking threat.
Impressive displays for your club normally lead to impressive displays for your country, but things have happened differently for Asensio. At a time when Carlo Ancelotti’s confidence in the Spaniard’s abilities is in question, Luis Enrique has given him a boost ahead of the World Cup. Performing well for Spain could provide him with an opportunity to return to the Real Madrid team.
With just 47 minutes played this season, Asensio started for La Roja against Switzerland on Saturday. He played as a false nine, a position where Ancelotti only has one real centre forward: Karim Benzema. Without the Frenchman, Rodrygo has put himself forward to great effect. Spain lost 2-1, but Asensio created Jordi Alba’s goal. During the first half he struggled, but then he showed that he wants to play at the World Cup and in the second half vindicated himself with a fantastic run that led to the full-back’s goal.
in this piece we take a look at the talent of Asensio and his situation.
He may no longer be at his prime, but there is no doubt who the headline maker of Portugal's national team has been for over a decade. And he's had an interesting time of late.
In the end, Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t leave Manchester United in the last transfer window. The Portuguese star was looking to join a new club with the hope of being involved in the Champions League. However, an offer failed to materialise.
His agent Jorge Mendes offered him to clubs in all the big leagues, but there was no takers. In the meantime, he did receive other offers, but none that particularly interested him - including one from Saudi Arabia. Al Hilal, one of the most important clubs in the country, presented him with an attractive proposal - a two-season contract for 242 million euros.
But Cristiano declined. Al Hilal officials have now explained the details of the negotiation.
So, which of Portugal or Spain will take the remaining place in the Finals of the 2022-23 UEFA Nations League?
The 2018-19 champions took care of the Czech Republic with ease (4-0) in their last game, while Luis Enrique’s men lost their top spot following a surprise 2-1 defeat to Switzerland.
With 10 points from a possible 15, Fernando Santos’ team have climbed up to first place in the table with this last game to go, and a draw would be enough for Portugal to advance to the four-team finals.
If you're hoping to have some visuals alongside my sparkling chat then feel free to check out this handy little guide that my friend Fidel pulled together. Not only does he clarify the kick off times around the global zones, he shares info on which providers are broadcasting the game and even throws in a brief preview.
Yes, you deserve it!
Portugal vs Spain live: welcome
Hello and a very warm welcome to you from wherever in the world you are joining me. My name is Calum and this is where my build-up to the big game in the Nations League begins.
The reason I call this game 'big' comes down to two reasons. Firstly, both our hosts Portugal and their nearest neighbours Spain can be considered contenders for the World Cup that is coming ever closer into view.
Secondly, the winner of tonight's clash will be the team that takes its place in the Nations League finals. More on that later.
So, let's get our Iberian focus on as we head towards kick off here in Braga.