FOOTBALL – Spain defeated Italy 1-2 on Wednesday evening in the semi-finals of the Nations League. The Nations League is a competition that was created in 2018 to replace international friendly matches.
Due to the victory over the Italians, the national football team of Spain will face the winner of the Belgium-France game on Sunday evening. National coach Luis Enrique provided a resounding surprise at the San Siro in Milan on Wednesday by drafting the only 17-year-old Gavi. Ronald Koeman’s Barcelona midfielder makes his debut against Italy at 17 years and 62 days the youngest player ever to play for the Spanish national team. Afterward, his game was applauded by both the national coach and the Spanish media.
The victory over Italy is impressive because the Italians became European Champions this summer and had not lost 37 games. With the win in the semi-finals of the Nations League, Spain takes revenge on Italy, which eliminated Spain in the semi-finals on penalties at the European Championship 2021.
Ferran Torres was the celebrated man from Spain. The Manchester City player scored the two goals for Luis Enrique’s team. The first goal came in the 17th minute, with the second in injury time of the first half. In the 17th minute, Torres hit the ball with the inside of a cross by Mikel Oyarzabal. Half an hour later, the declarer and the finisher were the same players, this time Torres hit the target.
One man down
Italy played with one man less from the 42nd minute, after the red card from Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci. Bonucci elbowed Barcelona player Sergio Busquets, earning him the second yellow card. La Squadra Azzurra made the 1-2 via Lorenzo Pellegrini in the 83rd minute, but the match was no longer relinquished by La Roja.
Nations League Final
This Sunday, Spain will play again in Milan, this time for the final of the Nations League. The opponent will be announced on Thursday evening, after the game between the two major football countries Belgium and France. It is still far from a foregone conclusion which team will play against Spain in the UEFA Nations League final.
The winner of the Nations League wins a spot for the play-offs for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Spain will not need the ticket for the play-offs if it comes first in the World Cup qualifying pool. As that position entitles them to direct qualification for the world championship.
However, the ticket to the play-offs is an interesting safety net in case a country fails to qualify through the World Cup qualifiers. Spain is currently running this risk, as Sweden currently has fewer loss points than Spain in World Cup qualifying group B.