Spain are looking for a win in Portugal

Spain are looking for a win in Portugal

MADRID (AP) – Coach Luis Enrique tried to remain optimistic about Spain’s chances of advancing in the United Nations League after a disappointing home loss to Switzerland.

However, La Roja can still secure a place in the finals with a win in Portugal on Tuesday.

“We see it as a final,” Luis Enrique said on Monday, two days after a 2-1 defeat by Switzerland dropped Spain from first to second in Group A2 ahead of a decisive game in Berga. became “It’s positive to reach the final stage with the possibility of winning the group.”

But beating Portugal isn’t something Spain haven’t been able to do recently. The Iberian neighbors have drawn their last four matches, including friendlies, and Spain have not beaten Portugal in nearly two decades.

His last win against Portugal was in the 2012 European Championship semi-final in a penalty shootout and before that in the 2010 World Cup in the round of 16, when Portugal were beaten by David Villa’s winner. An offside complaint was made against the goal. second half

In Portugal, Spain are unbeaten since a 3-0 win in a friendly in 2003, when Fernando Torres made his Spain debut, and it wasn’t long before Cristiano Ronaldo started playing for Portugal. .

“It’s all part of football. We’ve had the last three games where we played well but couldn’t and ended up with a draw,” Luis Enrique said.

The teams have drawn four in a row since the 2014 World Cup, including a thrilling 3-3 draw with Portugal under coach Fernando Santos, to open their campaigns in the 2018 World Cup group stage.

“We have to focus on winning instead of reaching the last four,” Santos said on Monday. “I want the players to face Spain at their best, as they do all opponents. Do that and we will always be closer to where we want to be.

Spain need a win after having their 22-game unbeaten run snapped at home by Switzerland on Saturday. Portugal beat the Czech Republic 4-0 to take first place and have a chance to advance with a tie on Tuesday.

Only the group winners advance to the final four next June. Portugal has 10 points, two more than Spain. The Swiss have six points, two more than the Czech Republic before their game in Switzerland to try to avoid relegation.

Spain are looking to make a second appearance in the last four after finishing runners-up to France last year. At the time, it also needed a last-day win to reach the last four, and it did so at home with a 6-0 thrashing of Germany.

Luis Enrique said he did not expect many changes to the squad for the match against Portugal despite Saturday’s defeat, although he admitted the team must improve on set-piece defence, thus the Swiss Scored both of his goals.

Portugal, who won the inaugural edition of the 2019 Nations League, may return forward Joao Felix, who was unavailable for the game against the Czech Republic due to injury. He joined his teammates at practice on Sunday.

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