Spain vs Portugal – Football Match Report – Jun 4, 2021
Spain and Portugal played a 0-0 draw on Friday as both sides prepared for this month’s European Championship.
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In the first international game with fans in Spain since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, all 15,000 participants believed they saw Spain fall behind when Jose Fonte’s looped header beat Unai Simon after 23 minutes , however, his looped header was ruled out for a foul on Pau Torres.
A nervous Simon then saw a clearing loaded by Cristiano Ronaldo. But the ball ricocheted directly off the Athletic Bilbao stopper.
After struggling early on, the hosts were much better after the restart, with Alvaro Morata and Pablo Sarabia both missing chances.
Portugal were indebted to goalkeeper Rui Patricio, who pushed Ferran Torres back at close range with two minutes left, before Morata hit the bar in stoppage time as Luis Enrique’s side searched for a late winner in vain .
“We wanted to win, but we didn’t. We did some very good things and we will take them with us,” defender Jose Luis Gaya told Spanish television.
“There is room for improvement, but all teams have things to improve before the tournament.
“Maybe we need to improve on set pieces, that’s where Portugal is really strong, but the reality is we had the best chance of winning the game.”
The match saw French-born defender Aymeric Laporte make his debut for Spain, calling it a “privilege” to play international football with La Roja.
The former Athletic Bilbao man obtained Spanish citizenship last month and was eligible to play for his adopted country which did not make his debut for the France national team, despite making 24 appearances in various group teams of age.
“It’s a privilege to be here with Spain,” he told La 1 TV channel. “We didn’t get the result we wanted, but we fought well and worked hard.
“Everyone knows that Portugal are a great team with top players. It’s a training match that serves us well for the future.
The nationalization of Laporte was a bone of contention in both countries, with France coach Didier Deschamps accusing the Manchester City man of lying about a supposed conversation they allegedly had.
However, the center-back would not be drawn to the situation.
“The whole [being naturalised] is a very long story and I should be here for an hour to explain it, “he said.
“But the important thing is that I’m here, and I hope it will be the first selection among many.”
Spain will face Lithuania in their final warm-up match on Tuesday before the Euro kick off next Friday.
Portugal host Israel on Wednesday before starting their European title defense.