Nico Williams (left) and Álvaro Morata (right) celebrate the winning goal for Spain. / AFP

Spain beat Portugal to qualify for the Nations League Final Four

La Roja booked their place thanks to an 88th-minute winner from Álvaro Morata

JOSÉ MANUEL ANDRÉS

Spain defeated Portugal 1-0 in the last Nations League group stage match that pitted the Iberian sides against one another for a place in the latter stage of the competition, known as the Final Four.

La Roja had made a host of changes from their shock defeat to Switzerland on Saturday and they also tweaked their style of play. Spain opted to try and hold possession more often and commit to a 'high press' style of play when their opponents had the ball, which did force Portugal to make a few errors, albeit with no end product for the Spaniards.

As the game wore on, the team's slice of possession was only growing, but they needed to score a goal and secure the win, as it was the only way to finish first and qualify.

That was when substitute Nico Williams recorded an important assist by flicking the ball with his head to Morata, who powered it into the back of the net to give Spain their much-needed win.

La Roja's qualification means that they will battle it out with Croatia, Italy and the Netherlands for their chance of winning the Nations League. The mini-tournament will be held in June 2023.