Ricardo Horta scored the equalizer long before Portugal and Spain opened their 1-1 draw with the UEFA Nations League on Thursday. Spain lost in the final to France in last year’s tournament but entered the 2022 tournament after four consecutive victories.
Morata beat Spain ahead in the first half as he became the highest scorer in La Roja history with his 26th place in all competitions. Portugal gave a brief response until Horta came up with eight minutes left to take part in the first Group A2 match.
Gavi hit hard in the first trade, and Rafael Leao – who made his debut in Portugal – exploded on the other side. Morata opened the scoring 23 minutes later when Gavi went on to find Pablo Sarabia, who came in unselfishly for the striker to enter.
Carlos Soler almost doubled the Spanish goal shortly thereafter but was denied by Diogo Costa before he fired a rebound, while Andre Silva punched alongside Unai Simon’s goal. Fernando Santos responded by sending Ruben Neves during the break but the second half went on in the same way, Spain ruled.
Leao missed a good chance by shooting at Simons’ running legs before Morata came out trying to gossip about Costa.
Cristiano Ronaldo was introduced an hour later, but it was another substitute, Horta, who equalized as he converted Joao Cancelo’s ball, before Jordi Alba hit a header and a goal gap at the end.